Florida’s public policy states that each parent has a “fundamental obligation” to support his or her child until the child becomes an adult or is emancipated. In Florida, the amount of child support owed by one parent to another is calculated by considering specific variables. The following variables, among others, affect the amount of child support that one party may owe to the other:
- Each parent’s net income
- The number of overnights that each child spends with each parent
- The child’s insurance costs
- Childcare costs
Once the guideline amount of child support amount is established, the Court will presumably order this amount be paid from one parent to the other. However, a judge may deviate from the guideline amount depending on certain circumstances and findings. An order requiring a parent to make child support payments must include a provision for health insurance for each minor child, as well as a provision for termination of child support. While child support in Florida generally ends at the age of 18, it can extend beyond the age of 18 in certain circumstances.
Calculation of a parent’s net income can be a difficult and complicated task, and the parent’s income has a significant impact on child support.
In many instances, a parent’s net income is easily determined, especially if the parties are employed and receive a set base salary and a w-2 from their employer. In certain instances, however, the calculation of net income for purposes of child support can be difficult. A sampling of situations that may make the calculation of income difficult are when:
- Gift Income is present
- Discretionary or performance bonuses or commissions are part of a party’s income.
- Equity or deferred compensation is a party of a person’s remuneration.
- Complex tax considerations are present.
- A portion of the income comes from
- Questions are present concerning whether income is reoccurring or nonrecurring.
- There are in-kind contributions from third parties that reduce living expenses.
- A party is self-employed and a party has control over his or her income and its reporting.
- A party is hiding income or has undisclosed income.
- A party has assets but a limited income.
At Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. we have the knowledge and experience to help determine income for support and to help guide you through the complex legal system in order to determine whether and how much child support should be ordered in your case. If you have questions, would like to receive more information, or need an attorney to stand by your side through the case or for limited purposes relating to this difficult and oftentimes complicated process, please call our office in Naples, Florida to schedule a confidential consultation with our attorneys.