Will I Have To Pay Child Support?
Being ordered to be child support can be a scary thought for some parents, especially if they are already doing their best to provide for their child and are struggling to make ends meet. However, If you have a child in Florida, it is a condition of establishing that paternity that you pay monthly support for your child. One exception to this rule exists if you are the parent with primary physical custody, meaning that the child lives with you. If this is the case it is assumed that you are already covering the costs of your child’s care and you do not have to make payments to yourself. Rather, payments are made from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. If you do not have primary physical custody of your child and paternity has been established, you will be ordered to make monthly child support payments.
How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?
The amount of child support that you will have to pay depends on the amount of income that you have as well as the number of children that require support. As noted above, there are other things too that can impact the amount of child support that you owe, such as whether you have primary physical custody or equal 50-50 shared custody. If your child or children have special needs, this can also be factored into the amount of child support that the court orders you to pay.
How is Child Support Determined?
The process of determining child support in Florida is rather straightforward. There is a guide that judges can use to determine the exact amount of child support recommended for a person of your income with your amount of children. This means that someone with a high income and only one child could end up paying more child support for their one child than someone with a lower income who has three children. This may seem unfair on its face, but the system is intended to estimate the amount of money that the parent would have spent on their children if they remained together with the child’s other parent, and that varies based on individual income. The judge does have some discretion to alter the amount from the one that is recommended. The judge can order the paying parent to pay up to 5% more or less than the amount suggested by Florida guidelines. For instance, if the guidelines recommend $400 in child support, the judge has discretion to order an amount of child support ranging from $380-$420. If the judge wishes to deviate more than 5% from the recommended amount they will have to justify their decision by making a written decision specifically explaining why they found it necessary to deviate from the guidelines. This can happen in special circumstances, but doesn’t happen often.
Contact Greater Orlando Family Law
If you need assistance with a matter related to child custody or support, the experienced Orlando family attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out what we can do for you to help secure your desired outcome.