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Some things you should know about Florida child support

Many Florida parents going through divorce or separating are not quite sure of how child support works in our state. The legal language regarding child support is complex, so let's discuss some aspects of child support in a way that is easy to understand

First, let's clarify two terms: "obligor" and "obligee." The parent who pays child support is the obligor, and the parent who receives support is the obligee.

Child support payments can be deducted directly from the paying parent's paycheck, or both parents can request that the obligor parent be in charge of making payments directly to the obligee parent. The court has to approve if the parents request a parent-to-parent payment plan.

If the paying parent falls behind, however, then the receiving parent can request that automatic deductions be taken from the paying parent's income.

A modification of a child support order, including the end of the payment obligation, may be granted by the court for the following reasons:

  • The child turns 18.
  • The child marries.
  • The child joins the military.
  • A substantial change in the parents' circumstances has occurred (for example, job loss or a promotion).
  • The modification is otherwise found by the court to be in the best interests of the child.

Child support doesn't necessarily end when the child turns 18. If the child has a disability that started before age 18, or if the child is still in high school after turning 18, then support may be extended.

Health insurance for the child may also be included in a support order.

One of our posts from July discusses what to do if a paying parent falls behind on child support.

Source:, "The 2014 Florida Statutes," Accessed Aug. 20, 2014

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