Under Florida law, child support is calculated pursuant to a formula that is established by the Florida legislature. The formula requires consideration of the parties’ incomes, timesharing schedule, the cost of health insurance and the cost of any necessary child care.
Unlike some other states, Florida does not require parents to pay child support for a child after he/she graduates from high school, which means that Florida courts cannot hold a party responsible for paying any college-related expenses. In general, calculating child support is a simple matter, unless a party’s income is difficult to ascertain.
Child support is established at the time the first parenting and timesharing schedule is established by the Court. It is always subject to modification if there is a substantial change in the parties’ circumstances. In Florida, this is a relatively low standard in that the law requires a modification of child support anytime a recalculation using the formula would result in a 15% or $50.00 per month change in the child support figure. Other changes in circumstances can include a significant increase or decrease in a party’s income, one of several children reaching the age of majority, and an increase in the cost of health insurance.
In any event, Courts also are allowed to deviate from the child support formula when there are special circumstances, which may include a child’s special needs.
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