How Does Child Support Work in Florida?


Child support in Florida can be a complicated issue; however, it is important that parents going through a divorce understand how it works as both parents are legally obligated to provide support for their children.

While the best way to ensure that you understand how child support works in Florida is by consulting with an experienced child support lawyer, this overview should give you a good idea of how this system works.

How Child Support is Calculated

In Florida, child support is calculated using a formula which takes into account multiple factors.

First, the court considers the net income of both parents. Additionally, the amount that the parents spend on various expenses like healthcare and daycare will be used to determine how much child support is necessary.

Another major factor is the amount of time that the parent without primary custody is able to spend with the child. If this parent’s visitation time includes at least 73 overnights each year, then the amount of child support required to be paid will fluctuate.

The court may also establish retroactive child support for the time that the parents were separated before child support was assigned. Your child support lawyer will likely be able to give you a good idea of how much you can expect to pay in child support if he or she is an experienced family law attorney. You can also check out this helpful child support calculator

Child Support Modification

In Florida, the amount of child support you are responsible for can be modified at any time due to changes of circumstances. For example, if you lose your job, your child’s healthcare costs increase, or if you or your ex-spouse’s income changes, your child support payments could increase or decrease. Keep in mind that child support cannot typically be modified retroactively. Only in cases in which one parent stops exercising his or her time-sharing might child support be modified retroactively.

Enforcing Child Support

Florida courts have various methods by which they enforce the payment of child support.

These include:

  • Suspending the parent’s driver’s license
  • Holding the parent in contempt of court
  • Placing a lien on the parent’s property

These methods, in addition to others, are some of the ways that child support in Florida is enforced. It should also be noted that there is no statute of limitations on the enforcement of child support. Child support payments can be enforced even after the child becomes independent.

Understanding how child support works in Florida is incredibly important for parents who are divorced or are in the process of separating. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney or a lawyer who specializes in child support is the best way to make sure that you understand how the child support system in Florida operates. If you or someone you know needs to consult with an attorney about child support, we offer free consultations in Miami Lakes, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa.

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