What is child support?
Child support is an amount allocated that one parent pays to the other parent to help support the child, to help any daily needs of the child, clothes, food, housing. It’s just to help support, since there’s no longer two incomes in the home.
What determines how much child support I have to pay in Florida?
In Florida, they have a child support guideline worksheet. That is a formula that is already created and you put in the income of each party, the number of overnights a child spends with each party, any child care cost, any medical insurance, any copay cost. It’s all put into this formula and then it calculates and credits all the cost. It calculates the income and the overnights. Then it’ll say who’s going to pay child support and the amount.
How are child care expenses divided in Florida?
Childcare expenses can be divided in a few ways. The parties can agree that they will split the cost 50/50, or it can be allocated in the child support guidelines. When you are credited, if you paid childcare fully you’ll be credited for that amount against the amount that you would be paying child support through the guidelines.
If child support is not paid must visitation be allowed in Florida?
Yes, they are not dependent on one another. So if child support is not paid the visitation still must be allowed to be had. The support is for what the child needs to take care of the daily needs of the child, where visitation is for the bond between the parents, and the relationship of the child. So they’re not dependent on one another.
Do I pay my spouse directly for child support in Florida?
You can pay your spouse directly for child support in Florida, or you can have an order, an income deduction order entered from the court where that would come directly out of your paycheck. That order would go to your employer. Your employer would process it and deduct that amount from your paycheck and then it would go to the child support office and then they would pay your ex-spouse directly. It could be either way. It depends on what the parties agree upon.
Can I lower my child support payments in Florida if I spend more time with my kids?
You could essentially lower your child support if you spend more time, because the way it’s calculated is, it’s done through the guidelines in the state of Florida. The guidelines base the amount of child support amount off of income and how many overnights you have. If you have more overnights, you could essentially lower your child support obligation.
If I get joint custody time-sharing, will I still have to pay child support in Florida?
It’s a possibility. All depends on the calculation that goes through the guidelines. The child support is always calculated through the guidelines in the state of Florida and it’s based on each party’s income, the amount of overnights, who pays childcare, who pays insurance. So once you put in all those numbers and actually how many overnights you have based on the income then it will decide whether you still have to pay child support or not.
What does the term “combined-income” refer to in figuring child support in Florida?
Combined income is the total net income of both parents and that income is used in the calculation of the guidelines and it’s one of the starting points before you put in how many overnights and how many childcare payments there may be made. The first starting point is to figure out the combined net income of both parents so it can be distributed properly.
The child support office miscalculated my payments now they claim I have arrears. What should I do?
I would highly recommend going to speak to an attorney about this situation. It’s very difficult to deal with a child support office to be honest with you and you would have to actually file a motion with the court, advise them of the miscalculation and you would have to show proof to the court of why there was a miscalculation and show proof of all the payments that you made so the best way to ensure that your rights are protected in this situation is to hire an attorney.