Florida Child Support Calculator Factors

Florida Child Support Calculator Factors

Florida Child Support Calculator Factors

Florida has been ranked as one of the most stressed states in the country, a reason given for the soaring rates of divorce. Statistics show that it holds the seventh-highest divorce rate in the nation, with 15% of Florida residents either divorced or separated. Approximately 50,000 couples file for divorce every year. The most significant aspect of these divorces is determining child support. When it comes to child support, making assumptions can be very tragic especially if you are an obligor parent. The Florida child support calculator comes in handy in such cases.

The Florida child support calculator is used by courts to give an estimate of the amount to be spent on the children for child care costs based on the incomes of both parents. The calculation of child support is definitely based on the Florida child support guidelines which states that children must receive support until they turn 18 years. Hence, disabled children are exempted form this law in that they can receive child support even after graduating from high school or turning nineteen.

Defining the Florida Child Support Calculator

The Florida child support enforcement program is overseen by the Florida department of revenue except in Miami-Dade and manatee counties. This program offers:

  • Paternity testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Establishing a child support order
  • Enforcement of child support orders

Like every state, Florida has a set of its own child support guidelines and regulations. These guidelines specify how much child support parents must provide after a divorce. The amount of child support to be paid is calculated by the state provided calculator. This calculator is provided by the Florida department of revenue.

The Florida child support calculator integrates three things:

  • Incomes from each parent
  • Expenses such as educational costs

How to Use the Florida Child Support Calculator

1.) The first step is to enter the income of both parents. The custodial parent is the one who has the children most of the time. The total revenue for the parents includes:

-salary/wages
-self-employment income
-overtime pay
-bonuses
-social security benefits
-passive revenue from corporations and partnerships
-alimony from a previous marriage
-unemployment benefits
-retirement pension
-annuity payments
-interest and dividends
-rental income

2.) Secondly, key in the number of children that the support order will cover

3.) Here, you can enter the monthly daycare costs paid by each parent

4.) Key in the monthly healthcare costs of the children that is catered for by each parent. When it comes to healthcare, there are two sub-categories:

  • The amount toward healthcare insurance
  • The amount for any healthcare or medical expenses not covered by health insurance. Such expenses could be out-of-pocket payments for specific prescriptions

5.) Key in the number of overnight visits of the child with each parent. These nights must be cumulative of the 365 nights in a year.

With this information, the calculator will then be able to determine the financial responsibility of each parent. The calculator establishes what amount of child support is to be paid by each parent.  Moreover, it will show the total amount of child support owed by the father to the mother or vice versa.

Factors to Consider Before Using the Florida Child Support Calculator

1.) It is an estimate

Similar to any other estimation formulas, the Florida child support calculator is for estimation purposes as well. It is relatively simple to use. Unfortunately, the calculator is unable to provide accurate estimates for incomes below $800 or above $10,000.

2.) Paternity determination

Any Florida court needs proof of paternity in order to issue child support. Paternity is determined if:

-both parents were married when the child was born. This automatically establishes paternity
-the parents were unmarried, then the father can establish paternity by signing the birth certificate
–  the parents completing an Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida in case paternity is not established in the hospital but the parents get married afterward
-unmarried parents fill out the Acknowledgement paternity form for unmarried parents in order to retroactively add the father into the birth certificate. The form is signed in the presence of two witnesses.
-the judge determines paternity in court when the man is believed to be the father is adamant about voluntarily establishing paternity.
-both parents undergo genetic testing

A proof of paternity is necessary for awarding child support and allowing both parents to get a shared custody order from the court, this shared custody allows the parents to have a legal say regarding the child.

So the Florida child support calculator does not have anything to do with determining paternity which is an important aspect of child support. Therefore, the calculator is not sufficient in itself. A proof of paternity is needed.

Concerns About the Florida Child Support Calculator

1.) Reliability

The final child support amount is determined by a judge. The judge looks beyond the parameters utilized by the Florida child support calculator. The judge also considers other factors in the determination. Examples of these other factors are:

  • Increased expenses of medical and dental expenses. The Florida child support calculator may underestimate these expenses and thus the judge will award a higher child support amount than that given by the calculator.
  • The age of the child and school tuition. The Florida child support calculator does not take into consideration any of these factors which may have a bearing of the child support an obligor will be required to pay the oblige parent
  • The total available assets of each parent
  • Varying incomes especially for some professions like construction workers which will require adjustments
  • The proposed parenting plan
2.) Other Factors that affect child support amount

The amount paid for child support is influenced by the following factors:

  • Expenses: the standard of living and the needs of the children before the divorce or separation must be scrutinized by the court to ensure that the child receives the same lifestyle even after the divorce. The other idea behind this is to make sure that the child does not suffer from extreme child care distress. The Florida child support calculator does not account for this.
  • The parent’s ability to pay: it is required for a parents to prove that they will provide for the child’s needs proportionally. It is necessary for the court to ensure that the payments from the paying partner are fair even allowing for modification where need is expressed.
  • Needs of the child: the essentials with which a child must be provided with are food, decent housing, day care, education, health care and special needs
  • Florida’s basic support amount: the courts have the authority to adjust child support amounts that vary with more than 5% that are accompanied by a written order. This order explains why such guideline payments would be inappropriate. The basic Florida child support amount is $74.
  • Father’s number of days with the child: it could also be the mother’s number of days depending on which parent is the custodial parent. The recommended visitation rights for a father are 73 overnights in a year. The calculations will depend on the agreed parenting plan
  • The number of children to support: sometimes a court may decline to award alimony to either partner if the parent paying the child support is unable to cater for both alimony and child support. This is usually where two or more children are involved. Every parent contributes to the welfare of the children.

Some of these factors are not accounted for in the Florida child support calculator which may lead to a biased estimate that may put one parent at a disadvantage and inevitably affecting the children. Fortunately, the state of Florida advocates for support of children within the financial capabilities of the children.

The Florida Child support calculator and what it means

Without a doubt, the Florida child support calculator is a very useful tool in giving an idea of what to expect as the amount of child support. However, it should not be fully relied on because it only gives an estimate and does not include other essential factors considered in the determination of the final child support amount.

Accessing the Florida Child Support Calculator

The Florida child support calculator can be accessed by state.

Finding Help From a Qualified Florida Lawyer

As you can tell, the Florida child support calculator is not a mystery. It is simple to use. Fortunately, its simplicity is the reason to ask for professional assistance from child support lawyers. This is of benefits because the lawyers help in filling out the necessary paperwork. Moreover, lawyers ensure an accurate revelation of the gross income as per the legal requirements. A lawyer also helps when it comes to child support modifications. These modifications may be the result of a salary upgrade, a changed job or a lost job.

In conclusion, Florida child support is quite flexible, allowing for modifications and adjustments. The child support guidelines have been set in a way that reaps the most benefits while still having considerations about the parent. The only weak link is the parent’s decision to follow the child support laws in Florida.