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Florida Child Support Guidelines Explained

Florida, like many states, utilizes child support guidelines to determine the amount of appropriate child support payments. Guidelines, generally, are formulas that the court relies upon to calculate the respective child support owed by the parents. This means that there are very few opportunities to deviate from the guidelines. The court will require the parties to product evidence and documents supporting income and financial status, which it will use to calculate child support.

In Florida, the child support guidelines generally consider three things:

  • The child's health care and child care costs. This includes things like medications, food, lodging, and school expenses.
  • The income of both parents. The court will require documents substantiating income, like pay stubs, tax documents or even bank records. An attorney could give you more detailed information on what specifically is required.
  • The general needs of the child. This covers other expenses like providing for the child's supplemental education, recreation and other things that the child will need to grow.

The guidelines are used to establish child support and to modify it. The court very, very rarely allows the party's to avoid using the guidelines. A common example when the ordered amount may be higher than the guidelines are when the judge determines that a child has a special medical need that was not considered.

If you are believe that you may need a divorce, then you may want to call a lawyer to go over your situation. A lawyer can review your facts, your marriage, financial situation and other factors and give you a recommendation on a course of action depending upon what you want to do. Divorce is a big decision, you don't want to go through with it before speaking with a professional to ascertain if it is the best option for you.