How Much Will You Have to Pay in Child Support?

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Child support is one of the most contentious matters in a Florida divorce with children. Child custody, which is referred to as time-sharing in Florida, is closely tied to the amount you will pay or receive in child support. Florida courts use a complex formula that produces a number regarded as the appropriate amount of monthly child support payments in a Final Judgment.

A few important components of this mathematical formula include:

  • The monthly net income of the custodial and non-custodial parent
  • Monthly costs of childcare, health/dental insurance premiums, and uncovered medical and dental expenses.
  • The number of children subject to the support order
  • The time-sharing division (number of overnights a child spends at each parent’s house per year)

When the number of overnights, the child spends with each parent is not equal, the party who has less overnights can expect to pay some support if he or she earns more than the other party. It is possible that two parents with identical (or near-identical) incomes and equal time-sharing will not be subject to a child support order, but that rarely happens.

How Do You Pay Child Support?

Florida law now requires an Income Withholding Order, and support is supposed to be paid through the Florida State Disbursement Unit and/or through the Department of Revenue. There are people who agree to direct payments. Depending upon the method, a party may pay by check, wire, or cash. However, it is best to pay support through a trackable method, and clearly mark the payments as what they are intended to be.

Can You Change a Child Support Order?

Yes, you can petition the court to modify the amount of child support you are paying or receiving. It’s not as simple as asking for a modification and receiving it, though. Florida law requires for the petitioner to demonstrate an unanticipated, “substantial change in circumstances” before approving a modification. The change should also be in the child’s best interests.

What if Your Ex Stops Sending Child Support?

There are ways you can compel the payor to get back on track. Depending on the amount of time or money that has fallen behind, the payor’s income could be seized to satisfy child support debts. You may choose to file a motion to hold the payor in contempt of the Final Judgment. This could subject the payor to hefty sanctions and even jail time. Please see our previous blog for more information on enforcing a child support order.

An Attorney’s Help is Essential

There are countless nuances within the Florida legal system that affect child support orders. The best way to ensure you are getting a fair amount of child support is by enlisting the help of a quality family law attorney. Divorce & Mediation Law Firm, with locations in Pembroke Pines and Sunny Isles Beach, is ready to speak with you about your family law needs. We offer confidential consultations to all prospective clients. Call us at (954)-447-2580 to set yours up today.

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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
18503 Pines Blvd, Suite 301
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
(954) 447-2580


Sergio Cabanas, Esq. founded the Cabanas Law Firm in 2006 and provides Divorce and Family legal services, as well as Estate Planning, to ensure his clients have planned for their newly single life and are protected after their divorce. He began his career in law in 1992 as a prosecuting attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, then continued his litigation track as an insurance defense attorney defending medical professionals against medical malpractice claims and expanded into disability and life insurance claims. Sergio is a Certified Mediator registered in the Supreme Court of Florida and a frequent speaker in the community about the importance of Estate Planning to keep families out of probate court and to prepare essential instructions in the event of disability or incapacity.