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:

  1. Combined net income of both parents
  2. Number of children
  3. Number of nights each parent spends with the child
  4. Health insurance (medical and dental)
  5. 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.