When making decisions on child support during a divorce case, there is no one fixed number a judge will use. Instead, many different factors are considered when the amount of support is being decided. Below, our Tampa child support attorney explains some of the main factors a judge will consider when trying to resolve a dispute. In essence, Florida uses a worksheet to determine the amount of child support for which each parent will be responsible. It is called the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. It incorporates many of the aspects listed below and normally the Worksheet will control how much child support is paid.
The Income of Each Parent
One of the main deciding factors in any child support case is the income each parent earns. The court will consider the gross income of each parent, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and overtime pay. Profits from a corporation or partnership, disability payments, and social security income can all be used to determine the income each parent earns. When one parent is unemployed, or underemployed, the court may use the current minimum wage to impute, or accurately evaluate, the income for that party.
The Child’s Standard of Living During the Marriage
The standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage and prior to the divorce is another factor considered by the courts when determining child support. The court will try to award enough support to ensure the child’s standard of living before the divorce is maintained afterward, too.
The Needs of the Custodial Parent
The court will start with the presumption that the parent who spends more time with the child will incur additional expenses for their needs. If the non-custodial parent earns a higher income than the parent with the majority of parenting time, the non-custodial parent will likely be ordered to pay more to cover the child’s expenses.
The Amount of Overnight Visits
The number of overnight visits each parent spends with the child is also a factor considered when determining the amount of overnight visits. When a child is in one parent’s custody, that parent is financially responsible for them. If the non-custodial parent spends one overnight visit with the child and the other parent spends the rest of overnights with the child during the week, the court may award the parent with a larger amount of child support.
Special Needs Children
A very common factor considered when determining the amount of child support are any special needs the child may have. For example, if the child has special educational needs or medical needs, it is not uncommon for the court to require the higher-income earner to pay more in child support payments.
How Our Child Support Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Your Case
If you are going through a divorce that involves children, determining the amount of support, as well as the parent who will pay it, will be a very big factor in your divorce. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child support attorney can answer your questions, and help you determine how much you may receive or be ordered to pay. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation of your case and to learn more about how we can help. Se habla Español.