If you live in Florida and are about to go through divorce proceedings, you may wonder how much court-ordered child support you might have to pay. Like most other states, Florida has its own rules and statutes concerning this issue, and there are a few facts you may want to know about them before you create a child support payment with your ex-spouse.
1. The Number of Children Affects Payment Amounts
While you might think that having more than one or two kids will increase the amount you pay, this might not be the case if you are a Florida resident. In fact, having more than one child might lower your payments because of how the Sunshine State calculates the rates. For example, if you have only one child, you may be ordered to pay around $200 monthly based on your income, but if you remarry and your spouse has another child, this may cause a downward trend in how much you pay.
2. Florida Uses an Income Shares Model
Your child support payments may be simpler to calculate because Florida follows an income shares model. This is a model used by the state’s courts that help them estimate support needs based on what you and your spouse’s income would have been if you had stayed together. This helps calculate presumptive child support amounts, although the courts may adjust the total amount if your income cannot meet the numbers the model presents.
3. All Income Is Considered
While your income can be a major factor in calculating your child support payments as a Florida resident, other sources of income may be included as well. These can include work bonuses, income tax returns, alimony, and monetary gifts. It is important that you report all income you receive so the court can calculate your payments properly and fairly.
4. Employment Status Can Affect Payments
If you only work part-time or are unemployed, a Florida court will usually take that into consideration when calculating child support payments. If your income is not enough to cover expenses such as daycare or health insurance for your children, you might ask the court to reduce your payments until such a time where you find new employment. Remember to inform the court of these circumstances, as assuming you do not need to make payments may result in going into arrears, or past payments that must now be paid.
As a Florida resident, calculating child support payments may be confusing for you, but learning the facts could make the process simpler. Contact a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from The McKinney Law Group, today for assistance or to set up a consultation.