How is Child Support Determined in Florida?

In Florida, child support payments are determined using guidelines found in Florida law. These legal guidelines are used to create an equitable system for child support awards. Child support is paid by one spouse to the custodial spouse for the care of a minor child. According to Florida guidelines, when determining a child support award, the court should consider each parent’s income, the child’s healthcare and childcare costs, and additional needs of minor children in a household moving forward.

There’s a misconception in our society that fathers pay the brunt of child support orders, which is another reason for standard guidelines based on income and need. The custodial parent in any family dynamic post-divorce stands to receive a child support order depending on income level and need. There are instances where parents with shared custody have child support orders that may feel extremely unfair to the payor. The goal of child support laws in Florida is to find solutions that meet the needs of minor children without creating untenable financial situations for parents.

How do you modify child support in Florida?

Since child support orders are based on parental income and the needs of any minor children in a case, when any of these factors changes, there may be reasons to request a modification of the associated child support order. The court will review updated financial records and determine whether financial changes are sufficient to warrant modifying the child support award.

To qualify for a child support modification review, the case must meet the following criteria:

  • The current child support order will not end within six months from the date the modification request is received by the Florida Department of Revenue
  • The support order cannot have been modified or reviewed in the last three years
  • There is evidence of significant change to the financial situation of the payor or the needs of the child in the case

Child Support: Consequences for Failure to Pay in Florida

In Florida, failure to pay an active child support order carries serious consequences. The court system will intervene and punish or alert the payor in the case by:

  • Notifying the payor of missing payments
  • Alerting the payor of pending Florida driver’s license suspension
  • Activating IRS tax refund offsets to recoup child support payments
  • Seizing Florida Lottery winnings of $600 or more
  • Seizing workers’ compensation and reemployment support payments
  • Garnishing paychecks for child support arrears
  • Filing liens on various personal property, like cars and boats
  • Alerting credit agencies of past due payments
  • Seizing money in bank accounts
  • Filing enforcement orders in court
  • Requesting contempt of court and arrest warrants

Thoughtful and Compassionate Legal Services in South Florida

If you’re considering a divorce and you have minor-aged children, issues of child support will loom large in your case. The attorneys at Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. can work with you to ensure you’ve submitted all the documents and financial disclosures needed to finalize your child support award. Our attorneys represent both mothers and fathers in divorce and support cases, and we can help you plan for your Florida child support case today! Call us at (727) 245-9009 to schedule a consultation.