Florida judges have little flexibility in setting child support payments. The Florida Child Support Guidelines provide strict parameters courts must follow when drafting child support orders. Here are factors that influence the Florida child support calculator and what that could mean for you and your budget.
The Florida child support calculator has a table of income levels that determine the monthly child support amount for a given number of children. To that end, both you and the other parent must complete financial affidavits detailing your gross income. Your gross income includes:
- Salary or wages
- Business income
- Interest and dividends
- Commissions, bonuses, allowances, overtime, and tips
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates
- Rental income
- Gains from property dealings
- Disability benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments
- Social Security benefits
- Reemployment assistance
- Unemployment compensation
- Spousal support
After determining your respective gross income, you and the other parent may deduct certain expenses to arrive at your net income. Allowed deductions include:
- Local, state, and federal taxes
- Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax
- Mandatory union dues
- Mandatory retirement payments
- Health insurance payments, except payments that go toward coverage for your child/children
- Child support for other children
- Spousal support to the spouse of a previous marriage or ordered as part of the current divorce proceeding a common misconception is that you can deduct household expenses to reduce your net income, but that’s not usually the case.
Combined Net Income and Number of Children
Once you and the other parent have determined your net income, the court will add the two figures and consult the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines provide a table showing the corresponding child support amount based on the parent’s combined net income and number of children.
For instance, let’s say you have two children and your net monthly income is $2,000. Your spouse’s net income is $1,500. According to the 2022 Florida Child Support Guidelines, your $3,500 combined net income and number of children correspond to a total child support obligation of $1,149 per month.
The court will then assign a percentage of the obligation to each parent. This involves taking your individual net income, dividing it by the combined net income, and multiplying the result by the total child support obligation:
($2,000 / $3,500) x $1,149 = $656.57 = 57%
Your spouse’s monthly obligation would be:
($1,500 / $3,500) x $1,149 = $492.43 = 43%
Raising children involves costs such as educational, healthcare, and childcare expenses in addition to child support. You and the other parent will split these costs, and each of you will be responsible for your share. Based on the example above, your portions of these expenses would be 57% and 43%, respectively.
Health insurance and dental premiums, uncovered medical and dental expenses, and childcare are divided pro rata in accordance with Florida law. Other expenses, such as extracurricular activities or private school tuition, may be divided as agreed by the parties.
Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
Divorcing with children can be challenging, but it’s easier with an experienced divorce lawyer by your side. At Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, we have over 60 years of combined experience in family law.
We can walk you through the Florida child support calculator and help you work out solutions regarding custody, parenting time, and child support that work for everyone. Call (954) 447-2580 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.