As a family law attorney serving many parents of minor children in Northeast Florida, I’m frequently asked by clients about what they can do to minimize or increase the amount of child support that they are either paying or receiving. In the state of Florida, both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. FSS 61.29 that [e]ach parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.” FSS 61.30 establishes the guidelines for determining the amount to be paid by each parent.
The fact of the matter is that, in the state of Florida, the calculation of child support is primarily a function of the total income of both parents. Each parent’s financial responsibility to the child is derived from his or her share of the total combined income. There are, however, certain allowable deductions and deviations that can move the child support calculation up or down.
A Practical Example of How Child Support Works in FL
Consider a Jacksonville family with a single child where the mother earns 60% of the household income and the father earns 40%. With all other things being equal, if the parents were to separate or divorce, and their children’s time was equally divided between the two parents, the mother would still be responsible for 60% of the child’s expenses and the father 40%. The mother would more than likely be the one to pay child support. The amount the mother would have to pay would be reduced if the child started spending more of his or her nights at the mother’s residence in Orange Park than in the father’s home in Saint Augustine. While this is an over-simplification, it illustrates how a single factor can alter the calculation of child support. An experienced family law and child support attorney, like FLA Legal Professionals, LLC of Jacksonville, can assist you in calculating the amount of child support that you are likely to have to pay or receive and show you ways to affect that payment amount.
Modifications of Child Support
It’s important to recognize how easily a child support calculation can change over time. If you are a parent who is paying child support, for example, and you begin taking your child for more overnight stays, you may be able to reduce the amount that you’re paying. In this case, you should speak to your family law attorney about seeking a modification.
If you are a resident of Jacksonville, Orange Park, Saint Augustine, Duval, Clay, Baker, Flagler, or St. Johns and you are seeking information about child custody, support, visitation, or any other family law concern, contact the Law Office of FLA Legal Professionals, LLC To schedule an initial consultation with attorney Rogers, call (904) 352-2459.