What factors determine child support in Coral Springs?

Florida uses child support guidelines to determine the amount of support owed, but courts have the flexibility to stray from those parameters.

In Florida, there are guidelines in place to determine how much child support a custodial parent may receive from the noncustodial parent. As the law points out, judges do have some flexibility with these guidelines and can stray up to 5 percent from what the guidelines suggest.

Parents in Coral Springs trying to determine child support payments should have an understanding of the factors used to reach the decision.

Key factors

Under the law, a judge may take into account the following factors:

  • The child's age
  • The number of children involved
  • The financial status of each parent, including gross income
  • The standard of living

The judge will also consider how much time the child or children spends with each parent.

Calculating support

The guidelines establish minimum dollar amounts that are required to support the basic care of a child. These amounts are solely based on the number of children and the combined monthly net income of both parents. For example, when the combined income of both parents is $800, the amount of child support owed is $190 per month for one child. The guidelines set forth amounts for up to $10,000 combined income and up to six children. The law states that child care costs and health insurance costs may be added to the calculation.

Once the child support amount is obtained, the courts will decide each parent's share by dividing the person's monthly income by the combined net income. That percentage is then applied to the total minimum child support required, and can result in one parent making payments to the other.

Deviating from the guidelines

If a parent in Florida believes that his or her case should not be calculated using the minimums, he or she must file a motion to deviate from child support guidelines. This typically happens in situations in which a child has special needs or medical demands. Courts have the flexibility to deviate from the standards when a parent can demonstrate appropriate reason to do so.

For more information on calculating child support payments, please see our child support guidelines worksheet.

Enforcing payments

Unfortunately, some parents in Florida try to shirk their responsibilities, either delaying child support payments or failing to make them altogether. The Florida Department of Revenue outlines a number of ways that child support can be enforced. For example, a portion of a parent's paycheck may be withheld in order to make payments.

There are also other consequences, such as suspending a delinquent parent's driver's license or denying him or her a passport. Professional license may also be suspended until the parent has satisfied the debt owed.

Any parent dealing with either calculating or enforcing child support in Florida should consult with an attorney.