Child Support and Divorce

After a divorce, parents must still support their children financially. One step in the divorce process is to calculate if any child support is due from one parent to another.  There are many factors that affect and influence a judge’s decision.  Here is some general information to consider in planning for this.

Responsibility to Support Children After a Divorce

Parents have a legal responsibility to support their children according to the child’s needs and each parents income. In the state of Florida, the legislature has enacted a set of guidelines that the courts use in order to determine child support obligations of each parent.  The guidelines are a set of formula’s based on the circumstances of each parent.  Although you can estimate child support at anytime during a divorce, a parenting plan outlining time-sharing between the parents will need to be determined before making final calculations of child support.

Child Support Factors to Consider During Divorce

Some of the primary factors that affect the child support calculation after divorce are the number of overnights the child(ren) spend with each parent, income of each parent, health insurance costs and child care expenses.  There are of course many other factors that can affect the calculation and judges do have discretion to deviate from the statutory guidelines in some cases.

Other factors you should consider about child support during divorce:

Child Support Guidelines Worksheet

Because interpreting the statutes can be complicated, the Courts in Florida have adopted a worksheet used to help parents, lawyers and judges calculate what each parent should financially contribute (child support guidelines worksheet Form 12.902(e)). This worksheet takes you step by step through the basic calculation of child support obligations. However, judges do have some discretion to deviate from the worksheet due to circumstances of one or both parties or special needs of the child(ren).

A Caution About Child Support and Time-Sharing

Keep in mind that child support and time-sharing with the children are separate issues. It is not proper to withhold court ordered time-sharing of a child because child support has not been paid.

Get Experienced Advice About Divorce and Child Support Calculations

Although child support may initially appear simple to calculate, it can sometimes become complex depending upon the facts of the case especially during divorce. If you would like advice in calculating child support, please contact us to set a consultation. In order to provide you with an accurate calculation, you will need to discuss your matter in detail with one of our attorneys who can then provide you with estimated support calculations and advice on how to proceed in your situation.