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How is income determined in Florida child support cases?

Parents who are going through a divorce often have to hash out issues of child support. For the receiving parent, this monetary assistance is meant to help with the expenses associated with rearing the child. As you go through the process of child support determination, you might have some questions about how child support works in Florida. While the answer isn't always simple, there are some basic guidelines to get you off to a good start.

What income is considered for the purpose of child support in Florida?

All income is included in child support cases, but certain exemptions and exceptions might occur. Income for the purpose of determining child support includes business income, wages paid for working, disability, Social Security benefits, Workers' Compensation payments, unemployment payments, retirement, pensions, annuities, alimony from a previous marriage, rental income, royalties, estate income and trust income are some of the types counted for child support. Wages paid for working also includes bonuses, overtime, commissions, tips and other similar income types.

How is income determined for the self-employed?

If you are self-employed, your income is considered business income. The court will deduct necessary expenses from your total income to determine your self-employment income. Expenses that aren't considered normal or necessary won't be subtracted. If your self-employment income is garnered from rental properties, the amount you receive in rent minus normal and necessary expenses will determine your income.

There are certain cases, such as when a party is underemployed, that might deviate from these basic guidelines. For this reason, determining if there are any special considerations for your case is necessary to determine how your child support case will be adjudicated.

Source: Online Sunshine, "The 2014 Florida Statutes: 61.30 Child support guidelines; retroactive child support." Sep. 15, 2014

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