How does Florida calculate child support?

When parents in Florida divorce, the state requires both former spouses to financially support their children. Parents can reach a child support agreement independently or ask the state to create a child support order.

Review the factors that influence Florida child support calculations.

Child support guidelines

Florida’s child support guidelines establish a standard amount of monthly support. The court will review the number of children and the amount of net income the parents earn. The support award will account for special education needs and physical and mental health needs.

The judge will also consider the number of overnights the child spends with each parent during the month. Even when parents have a 50/50 shared custody schedule, the parent who earns more money will usually have to pay support unless the mother and father have the same monthly income and number of parenting days.

The calculation process

The child support guidelines indicate an average monthly support amount based on income. Generally, the court will divide this amount between the parents proportionally depending on their earnings when they share custody. For example, if one parent earns $2,000 a month and one parent earns $8,000 a month, the higher-earning parent would be responsible for 80% of the support amount.

Florida judges can deviate from the guidelines based on each family’s circumstances. Additional factors that may affect the child support calculation include each parent’s financial status, debts, and assets, the age of each parent, the standard of living the family enjoyed during the marriage, and other extenuating circumstances. The judge will provide a written explanation of the reasons for deviation.