We Know That Your Child’s Needs Are Your Top Priority.
Child Support is one of the most common terms that comes to people’s minds when they think of Family Law. This is because first and foremost, people want to know that their children are going to be taken care of. Additionally, unlike other types of relief that are awarded in Family Law, the Court is required to order Child Support in all cases that involve minor children, and the right to receive support cannot be waived by either parent. This means, in the event of a Divorce or Paternity action, the Court will evaluate a number of factors and calculate an amount that is owed from one parent to the other to support the child. Other areas of support that the Courts address include the payment of healthcare expenses, orthodontic expenses, private school tuition, and college savings plans.
Additionally, we know that there are many parents who have every intention to support their children, but also worry that they are going to suffer significant financial setbacks as a result of a Child Support order. Because of that, we are here to ease your concerns. The amount of Child Support that parents are ordered to pay is based off the ‘needs of the child’, and the ‘ability to pay’ of the parents. Our team is familiar with many tactics that firms use to try to increase the amount of the Child Support you may be ordered to pay, and therefore have developed strategies to protect your financial health, while also providing fair and adequate financial support for your children.
Calculating Child Support
Florida Statute 61.30 sets forth the guidelines for how Child Support is calculated. The amount of Child Support to be awarded is based off a calculation taking into consideration the income available to both parties, the amount of overnights that the child spends with each parent, as well as certain deductions for additional support of the child.
Florida Statute 61.30 sets forth the guidelines for how income is calculated for the purposes of determining a child support award. Income that may be considered includes:
- Salary or wages
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
- Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income
- Disability benefits.
- All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
- Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
- Social security benefits.
- Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
- Interest and dividends.
- Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
- Reimbursed expenses or in-kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
- Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
The Courts also have the ability to impute income for unemployed or underemployed Parents. This means that where a spouse is voluntarily underemployed, or unemployed, the court may assign a value to what they could be earning. This prevents a parent from taking a lower paying job to obtain a lower child support payment. The theory behind imputation of income is that the child should be able to reap the benefits of their parent’s good fortune, and parents have a continuing duty to support their children. Even where a parent is a stay-at-home parent, the Court may impute income. However, when doing so, the court will take into consideration the necessity of the parent to stay home with the child, or the feasibility of employment given his or her role caring for the child.
You Can Begin to Take Control of Your Children’s Future
Why speculate about your children’s future, when our experienced and compassionate family law team can help alleviate the anxiety of the unknown?
We will strive to get your Child Support case settled promptly so that your life and those of your children can return to normal as soon as possible.
If you are facing a Family Law case that involves Child Support, we can help. Please contact us today at (813) 907-9807 to speak with a Family Law Attorney from our practice group in Tampa.