A parent’s child support obligation can be a very divisive and emotionally sensitive issue. When people go through a divorce they go from a situation of shared residency, shared bills, to living separately once more. This can take a toll on both parties financially, and for that reason child support can oftentimes become very sticky. The State of Florida is a “child first” state. Floridians believe that each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor child or a child who is legally dependent and to that end have established laws that seek to protect minor children financially.

Divorced Mother With Sons Seeking Child Support in Jacksonville

Florida Child Support Guidelines

Courts in Florida use the State of Florida’s established child support guidelines to encourage a fair and efficient method of resolving the financial support of children. These guidelines not only protect children, but also prevent arbitrary burdens from being placed on the non-custodial parent. Calculations are the same no matter what part of the state you reside in.

To calculate the parent’s child support obligation, you begin with each parent’s gross income and then deduct federal withholding taxes, health care cost and Court-ordered child support and/or alimony paid to previous family to obtain the parent’s net income or take-home pay. From the parent’s net income the parent’s child support obligation is determined from the child support guidelines. For example, if the non-custodial parent’s net income is $6,000.00 per month and the custodial parent’s net income is $2,500.00 per month the total child support obligation according to the guidelines is $1,356.00 for one child. Of this amount the non-custodial parent pays $962.00 and the custodial parent pays $403.00. It is the obligation of both parents to support their children.

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A parent’s child support obligation can be adjusted by the number of overnights a parent spends with a child, by the daycare cost paid and health insurance cost paid for the child. Additionally, a parent’s child support obligation can be adjusted because of a child’s extraordinary medical needs, the age of the child or the child’s private school tuition. Child Support can be awarded retroactively back to the time the parents stopped living together as a family unit but not more than 24 months before the filing of your court case.

Child support will continue until such time as the child reaches the age of 18 years, marries or joins the military. However, if the child reaches the age of 18 years and is still in high school making a good faith effort to graduate the child support obligation will continue until the child graduates from high school but will not continue beyond the age of 19 years.

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These guidelines can create financial difficulties for some. Another new payment may sometimes become a squeeze for the non-custodial parent who is starting over, as well. You may have strong feelings about this and that is understandable. However, the state’s guidelines are determined with a child’s needs placed first, and will not be amended without reason.

If you are considering divorce, or if you are separated or involved in a paternity action and have questions about about Child Support, we are here to help. Please feel free to talk to us about your case or your concerns regarding Child Support and all areas of marital and divorce law.

At the Law Office of James T. Keenan, we understand your individual situation and needs. We are experienced and promise to handle your family law case professionally and passionately. We get results. Call 904-359-9060 to setup a free initial consultation.


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