Determining The Child Support For Your Specific Circumstances
When parents have children, whether married or not, they both contribute to the well-being of their children. When parents divorce or separate, they are still expected to do so.
In Florida, the state uses an “income shares model” for calculating child support. While there are set guidelines in the statute, there are also circumstances that can affect the amount you receive or pay.
Guidance From A 20-Year Family Law Veteran
Attorney Kim Kaszuba, founder of KLK Family Law in Clearwater, has over 20 years of experience guiding parents on issues like child support.
She understands that each circumstance and each family is different and requires a careful and detailed review and assessment in order to accurately determine child support payments.
How Florida Determines Support: 4 Basic Steps
There are four basic steps used to determine Florida child support. Each step, however, can involve complex processes.
1. Determine the actual income of both parents: This is done using financial affidavits which include various types of income. Imputed income is used when one parent is determined by the court to be willfully unemployed or underemployed as a way to avoid paying child support or to pay less in support.
2. Determine the number of children and number of overnights spent with the children for whom the support is needed: In some instances it may be beneficial to determine paternity at this step, especially if the parents are not married or were not married when the child or children were born. It is also critical to determine the number of overnights a child/children spend with each parent over the course of a 365 calendar year.
3. Enter the net incomes of both parents in the Florida Child Support Guidelines worksheet: The worksheet determines the amount of child support by taking into account the number of children and the income of both parents. With a compelling reason, the court has the authority to modify the amount by 5% more or less than the guidelines indicate.
4. Determine the additional expenses needed for the child. These expenses can include heath care and insurance costs, education and child care costs. Parents may wish to divide these costs in a way that makes sense given their unique circumstances. Child support payments generally continue until the child has graduated from high school, or age 19. If a child has disabilities, this may also affect child support.
Change In Circumstances? You May Need A Child Support Modification
In some instances, a modification may be necessary. This often occurs after a substantial change in income for either parent, the time sharing schedule has changed, or if a child’s needs have changed.
Get Experienced Guidance Today
If you seek guidance on receiving or paying child support, turn to Kim. She has years of experience and is a top-rated, board-certified and reputable Florida family lawyer.
Call 727-314-2094 to set up a meeting with Kim at her Clearwater law firm. You can also send Kim a confidential email at the firm. She frequently works with parents in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties.
Alimony, or spousal support, is different than child support and can be ordered to be paid in conjunction with child support. Learn more.