Child Support: It Can Be Complicated

Child Support: It Can Be Complicated

A child born into this world is helpless. The child needs parents to provide sustenance and support. The statutes of State of Florida provide income based child support guidelines. These may be found in Florida Statutes 61.30.

Basically, the gross monthly incomes of each parent, minus certain allowed deductions, are added together. The resulting sum is the amount of money entered into the child support guidelines tables. The guideline tables then point to the amount of monthly money each parent must pay to adequately support their child or children at the minimum level that the State requires. The amount of monthly obligation for the support of the child/children is then apportioned to each parent based on their respective earnings.

However, to get to the actual amount an individual parent must pay, the guidelines amount should be adjusted for the percentage of time the child/children will spend with each parent assuming that each parent has at least 20% of the time sharing. Finally all costs for daycare and healthcare of the child/children are divided amongst the parents obligations, based upon their respective earnings, and credit is given for actual payments made for these costs by each parent.

The State of Florida’s “default” policy on Time Sharing is based on the concept that children deserve at birth the input, guidance, love, and protection of each parent equally. That indicates that a 50/50 time split with each parent should be the norm, but the Child Support guidelines provide an adjustment process for those occasions when a 50/50 time sharing split is not possible for one reason or another.

The adjustment is created by using the amount of over-nights out of the year that the child prospectively will spend with the parent. So, in a 50/50 time sharing agreement one parent in a prospective year will spent 183 over-nights with the child and the other parent will spend 182 over-nights with the child. To be completely equal, the parents will reverse over-nights numbers the following year.

But sometimes a parent can’t take the child fifty percent of the time. When that happens the percentage of total time sharing over-nights available that the parent can time share is calculated and then applied to the child support to be paid number.

Eventually the adjustments are all computed and the end result is that one parent will pay the other parent the appropriate child support that the guidelines indicate.

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