At Rebecca L. Palmer Law Group, we are passionate about the financial well-being of children of divorce. We take on child support cases to ensure that your children’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are met. Florida law states that this is the responsibility of both parents, and that children are entitled to share in the good fortune and wealth of their parents. In other words, child support is intended so that children can live a lifestyle that matches the wealth of both parents, and their collective ability to support their children. A child should not have a rich life in one household, and live poorly in the other parent’s home.
How is it determined?
The Florida legislature established guidelines that are used by the Courts in calculating the amount of child support to be paid or received by the parents. These guidelines are further detailed in Florida Statute Section 61.30. As a general principle, the Court does not take into account the expenses of the parties but instead looks at child support as the first and most important financial obligation. The main factors used to determine child support are:
- The number of children.
- The net incomes of both parents.
- The daycare expenses expected.
- The cost of health/dental insurance for the minor children.
- Any extraordinary expenses for the minor children.
- The percentage of overnight stays with each parent.
Child support and equal time-sharing
In some cases, child support may not necessarily be ordered based on child support guidelines. However, in the majority of cases, child support cannot be waived by either parent as the money is considered by statute to be the child’s money. Importantly, if one parent earns significantly more than the other parent, child support may still be ordered even though each parent has time-sharing with the children at least fifty percent of the time.
What about back child support (retroactive support)?
At the time when child support is initially established, retroactive support may be established for the time period between the date the parents separated and the date that the child support order goes into effect.