When using Florida's child support guidelines to calculate the amount of monthly payments, the following things are considered:
- The number of children to be supported
- The cost of health care for the child
- Other child care costs (for example, food, clothing and daycare)
- Each parent's income
The calculator uses this information to generate a basic support amount that is meant to be fair. However, depending on individual circumstances, the appropriate amount of child support may be greater or lesser than the amount generated by using the guidelines.
For example, more support may be needed to cover expenses for a child with special needs. If a child has a chronic medical condition and requires ongoing treatment, then the parent receiving support may request a higher amount from the obligor parent (the parent who pays support). Likewise, a parent may request a higher support amount to help cover the cost of the child's special educational needs.
In some cases, greater child support amounts are paid to ensure that the child has the same standard of living before and after the parents' divorce.
Child support can be one of the most contentious aspects of family law cases. Unfortunately, sometimes parents who have been ordered to pay support try to get around paying by hiding assets or income. In fact, some parents go to great lengths to avoid their child support obligations.
If your co-parent is failing to make the ordered payments, then a family law attorney can inform you of your legal enforcement options.
If you are an obligor parent whose financial situation has taken a turn for the worse, then you may want to explore your options for a child support modification.
At the Law Offices of Kelley A. Joseph, we understand how tumultuous family law disputes can be. To learn more about how we have helped clients get through difficult times, please visit our other pages on child support, child custody and divorce.