Most people have a variety of misconceptions about how child support is calculated as well as whether an individual’s financial circumstances, beyond income, are taken into account. In Florida, child support is very straight forward due to the existence of a statutory guideline outlining what child support should be depending on the following factors:
1) income of the parents;
2) the number of children;
3) the number of overnights each parent has with the children; and
4) which parent is paying for healthcare and/or daycare.
As a result, child support is non-negotiable, it is simply a calculation that considers the referenced factors and nothing else. This non-negotiable aspect of child support is also due to the fact that child support is not the right of either parent but instead the right of the child(ren). Therefore, a substantial child support obligation cannot be “waived” by either parent. Alternatively, however, the paying parent can agree to pay “above guidelines” because it involves paying more, not less, in child support.
Another important aspect of child support is knowing when it becomes applicable. The moment both parents are no longer residing within the same home, or if the parents never resided within the same home, a child support issue arises. As such, if child support is relevant to you, it is important to contact a family law attorney to walk you through the information that will be relevant in your particular circumstances.