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Child Support

One of the terms that must be decided upon when a married couple goes through a divorce in Florida is child custody. These days there is such a thing as shared parenting rather than a rigid custody/visitation arrangement, and the court can also divide parental responsibilities if it is asked to decide on a custody matter.

For the sake of the child’s domestic stability, even if the parents are technically sharing custody, the child will usually be living with one of the parents most of the time. So when it comes to child support, the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child will be making support payments to the other parent.

According to Chapters 61.13 and 61.30 of the Florida statutes, the state shall use what is called the Income Shares Model coupled with the Florida Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support that must be paid. The most effective way to convey the way that child support is calculated is by presenting a simple hypothetical example.

Let’s assume that Louis and Marie are divorced and they have one child together named Mark. For the purposes of our example we will say that Marie has primary physical custody of Mark and the Florida Child Support Guidelines call for $500 a month in total to care for him. Under the Income Shares Model each parent is equally responsible to provide for the child, but they pay an amount that is proportional based on their respective incomes to the whole.

So to complete this example we will say that Louis earns $3,200 per month and Marie’s month earnings are $1,800. Between the two of them they are bringing in $5,000, and Louis is making 64% of that total. Under the Income Shares Model, Louis must pay 64% of the $500 it costs to care for Mark, so his monthly child support payment is $320.

For legal advice about a child support matter, contact a Tampa FL family attorney to arrange for a free consultation.

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