Florida Child Support Information
Both you and your spouse have a responsibility to support your children in accordance with the children's needs and your individual financial abilities. Support may be by direct payment or by indirect benefits, such as mortgage payments, or insurance. In addition, reasonable medical and dental insurance is added to the basic child support amount. Uncovered medical expenses can be shared on a pro-rata basis proportional to the income of each individual parent. Ordinarily, the obligation to support your child ends when that child reaches 18, marries, or becomes financially independent. The parties can agree to pay beyond 18 years of age or in regards to a child's college education.
Some of the issues concerning child support which must be considered include:
- (a) The amount of support
- (b) The method of payment
- (c) Ways to assure that payments are made
- (d) When child support may be increased or decreased
- (e) Who claims the dependency deduction for tax purposes
The courts use the Florida Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support. The guidelines consider the incomes of the parties and the number of children that they have.
After you have a court order for child support or visitation (Time Sharing) or if there is a substantial change in circumstances regarding these issues or if you have a problem getting support payments from your spouse or former spouse, or visitation (time sharing) and access to your child is denied, you should bring this matter to the attention of the court. It is not a proper reason for withholding visitation or child support payments because of any wrongdoing by your spouse or former spouse. Also, you might be able to modify the existing child support, time sharing schedule order that is in place.