How is my child support determined?
(1)(a)The child support guideline amount as determined by this section presumptively establishes the amount the trier of fact shall order as child support in an initial proceeding for such support or in a proceeding for modification of an existing order for such support, whether the proceeding arises under this or another chapter. The trier of fact may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 5 percent, from the guideline amount, after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. The trier of fact may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordered payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate. Notwithstanding the variance limitations of this section, the trier of fact shall order payment of child support which varies from the guideline amount as provided in paragraph (11)(b) whenever any of the children are required by court order or mediation agreement to spend a substantial amount of time with either parent. This requirement applies to any living arrangement, whether temporary or permanent.Go Back
Can my child support be modified?
(b) The guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.Go Back
What changes could cause it to be modified?
(c) For each support order reviewed by the department as required by s. 409.2564(11), if the amount of the child support award under the order differs by at least 10 percent but not less than $25 from the amount that would be awarded under s. 61.30, the department shall seek to have the order modified and any modification shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.
(2) Income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:
(a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Salary or wages.
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
- Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. "Business income" means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
- Disability benefits.
- All workers compensation benefits and settlements.
- Unemployment compensation.
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
- Social security benefits.
- Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
- Interest and dividends.
- Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
- Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
- Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
(b) Income on a monthly basis shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent when such employment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent's part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control. In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of that parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community as provided in this paragraph; however, the court may refuse to impute income to a parent if the court finds it necessary for the parent to stay home with the child who is the subject of a child support calculation.
(c) Public assistance as defined in s. 409.2554 shall be excluded from gross income.Go Back
How is my net income obtained?
(3) Net income is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income. Allowable deductions shall include:
(a) Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities.
(b) Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax.
(c) Mandatory union dues.
(d) Mandatory retirement payments.
(e) Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child.
(f) Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid.
(g) Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before the court.Go Back