Family law Florida Child Support

AN OVERVIEW OF CHILD SUPPORT UNDER FLORIDA LAW

In Florida, both parents are legally obligated to provide support for their minor child or children and receipt of child support is considered a right of the child not the parents. The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child's basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are met and, additionally, to allow the child to share in the wealth and good fortune of the parent's.

Establishment

Child support is established based upon a formula, which takes into account the net income of both parents, and certain specified expenses including but not limited to the health insurance premiums being paid for both the parents and the children, and the daycare costs, if any, for the child or children. In addition, the formula also takes into consideration the number of over-nights the child or children spend with each parent. If the parent with less time has at least 73 overnights each year, then the amount of time-sharing will be included in the calculation of child support and will force an adjustment to the child support obligation. This reduction in child support is based upon the consideration that both parents will need to provide food, clothing and shelter for the child or children while they are in that parent's care.

At the time when child support is initially established, retroactive support may be established for the time period between the date the parents separated and the date that the child support order goes into effect. Or, if the parties separated more than twenty-four months prior to the filing of the action requesting child support, retroactive support may be established for a period starting twenty-four months prior to the date of filing through the date the child support obligation becomes effective.

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