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Understanding Child Support Laws in Florida

One of the most significant issues when going through a divorce is deciding with your spouse on how to raise your children. To ensure children are adequately taken care of when their parents divorce or separate, it's essential that child support is obtained.

At Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC, we know that there is nothing more important than your family. Our team is here to explain your rights, help you understand your options, and ensure you get a fair child support settlement. Here our Pensacola family law attorneys explain Florida's child support laws.

Defining Child Support

Every parent in Florida is required to support their children financially. This obligation does not go away if the child's parents are no longer together. The law utilizes child support guidelines in order to determine what amount is needed for the child's necessities while making sure it is fair for the paying parent to make.

To do this, parents will need to file and exchange a financial affidavit that verifies their income. Once this is done, they will then need to complete the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

Child support cases are never easy and can be quite complicated, especially when one parent lives in another state or one parent will not pay a certain amount in support. To protect your child's best interests, you should contact a Pensacola family law attorney when dealing with child support matters.

What is Covered in Child Support?

Child support should include everything the child needs in order to have their basic needs met. This consists of a broad range of expenses, including:

  • Basic necessities
  • Educational feeds
  • Childcare
  • Medical costs
  • Extracurricular activities and entertainment

However, this is not everything that can be covered. If there are unique circumstances, the court may require support to be used for that as well.

Calculating Child Support in Florida

Florida child support uses specific guidelines to calculate the necessary amount of support by using the Florida child support guidelines. These guidelines use the "Income Shares Model" to estimate how much parents would theoretically spend on their child and divides that number with the parent's combined incomes.

The court also considers several other factors, which include:

  • Each parent's income and earning capacity
  • What is the current or proposed child custody agreement?
  • How many children are involved?
  • What is the cost of daycare and insurance each child contributes to the children?

Non-custodial parents are typically required to pay child support even if they are sharing custody with the other parent.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

Child support orders may change in the future, meaning they can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances that have impacted how much is to be paid in support.

A substantial change in circumstances may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Unemployment
  • Significant changes in income

Modifications are typically granted when the modification would change child support by at least 15 percent or $50 or more, if there were a factor that was not previously considered, or if the amount has a long-term impact on the parent's net income.

Speak to a Pensacola Child Support Attorney Today

Child support matters are incredibly difficult. Not only are the laws confusing to understand, but it also is an uncomfortable topic to discuss with your ex. However, child support is essential for helping children live. If you are in the midst of a child support matter that you need help with, please contact the family law attorneys at Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC. Whether you need help filing for child support, enforcing support, or modifying a current child support order, our caring team will assist you.

Call (850) 404-7263 to schedule a consultation with the child support attorneys at Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC.