Florida uses an income share model to calculate how much child support a parent has to pay. Thus, you can estimate how much you’ll have to pay to help calm your nerves about the court date.
Both parents pay
Florida requires that both parents pay to support their children whether they are together or not. When a couple divorces or separates, Florida compares their incomes to determine how much each should provide for supporting the children.
The court adds the net income of both parents to find on the chart how much they need for raising their child. Then, the court uses the percentage of each parent’s income to determine how much each is responsible for.
Slight variation allowed
In Florida, the court could make a child support order that’s up to 5% above or below the guidelines. If the court wants to issue an order outside of this range, then it needs to have a good reason and provide a written explanation.
When you have a child custody case, you and the other parent have to fill out a financial affidavit to report your income and expenses. If your gross annual income is less than $50,000, you need to fill out Form 902(b). For those who earn $50,000 or more, they submit Form 902(c). The form has instructions on what you need to include and what deductions you can make.
Deductions you could make include mandatory union dues, taxes, health insurance, court-ordered child support for other children and spousal support. You can deduct taxes at the state and local level as well as federal.
Child support decisions in Florida come down to each parent’s income after available deductions and the estimated cost for raising the children. You can check Florida’s income share model to have an idea on how much you’ll need to pay.