Recently, divorcing couple Kenneth Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin of Illinois gained some measure of notoriety after Dias Griffin’s recent court filings were made public. Those filings include a request from Ms. Dias Griffin for over $1 million per month in alimony and child support to support herself, the couple’s three children, and four nannies. The request includes $300,000 for a private jet, $160,000 for vacation accommodations and hotels, $60,000 for office space and a professional staff, and $14,000 for groceries and meals. (Each of these amounts represents monthly amounts requested.) Lawyers for Mr. Griffin claim that Ms. Dias Griffin had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a similar amount as an alimony award and is now attempting to obtain the amount as a child support award.
Can I Get $1 Million in Child Support?
Most divorced parents who are the primary caregivers for their children do not expect $1 million per month in child support. But some such parents depend on the monthly child support check in order to make ends meet for themselves and their families. Budget-conscious and newly-divorced parents in particular may be unfamiliar with how a Florida court establishes a child support order.
Courts in Florida are required to follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines when calculating a child support order. These guidelines direct the court to consider the net income of the parents as well as the number of children and the healthcare and childcare costs of the child. Florida law sets out a formula that must be used by the court to calculate the child support amount based on this information. The resulting child support amount is a presumed amount, meaning that a court is obligated to order that specific amount unless special circumstances exist. If no such special circumstances exist, the amount is presumed to be enough to support the parties’ children.
What if the Presumed Amount is Not Enough to Cover My Child’s Expenses?
Sometimes the costs of raising a child are greater than the presumed amount of child support. For instance, a child with a medical condition may require routine and expensive procedures or medicines. In such cases, the parent providing care for the child can ask the court to award more support than the presumed amount. A court is able to do so only if it makes specific written findings that show why the court believes the presumed amount of child support is not enough to provide for the care of the child.
We Can Help You Make Sense of Florida Child Support
There is no such thing as a “typical” child support calculation, as each calculation needs to take into account the specific situation of the parties. The experienced divorce and family law attorneys at All Family Law Group can evaluate your particular facts and circumstances and help you understand what child support amount is presumed in your case. Where this presumed amount is inadequate, we will aggressively fight for the child support you need to provide for your children. Contact our offices in Tampa Bay at 813-321-3421 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+