What is Child Support?
Florida law requires that child support be paid by both parents. Although a common misconception, child support is a duty owed to the child, not to the parent. In a divorce or paternity determination, child support is ordered to provide for a child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, and other expenses of the child(ren). Child support is usually paid by one parent to the other parent.
How to calculate Child Support ? Child Support is a formula calculated by following certain guidelines provided by Florida Statutes. The guidelines include factors such as:
- Combined net income of both parents
- Number of children
- Number of nights each parent spends with the child
- Health insurance (medical and dental)
- Childcare or day care
Modification of child support: There are times when parents may seek a modification of a prior child support award when it is based on a substantial, permanent and unanticipated change in circumstances. Examples of modification requests can be loss of a job, disability, increase or decrease of 15% in income for either parent.
Modifications should be filed immediately, as they are only effective as of the date of filing forward.
Enforcement of prior child support orders: There are alternatives in order to have a court enforce a past due child support payment. One must have a valid child support order in place and the other parent must be behind on payment(s). Some options include holding the nonpaying spouse in contempt of court, suspend a driver’s license or a professional license.