Divorce can be messy. However, when kids are involved there are a number of other things you must consider. You have to begin thinking about who will be the custodial parent, the type of time-sharing schedule you want, the details of your parental plan and the amount of child support you are going to have to pay (or need to receive) each month.
When a couple gets a divorce, in most cases, the non-custodial parent is going to pay child support to the custodial parent. When you are the custodial parent, it means that even if you have joint custody, you will have a larger part of the time-sharing with your child, and that the child stays with you the majority of the time.
In most cases, child support will be mandated by the Florida court; however, there are extremely specific reasons a parent may be able to legally avoid making their ordered child support payments.
Determining Florida Child Support
In the state of Florida, child support is determined by something called the Income Shares Model. The court is going to estimate the amount it takes to support the child if you did not get divorced. The amount is then divided between the parents based on how much you make and your ex-spouse makes. Some of the factors your gross income is determined by include:
- Wages or salary
- Overtime, tips, commissions, bonuses, etc.
- Income from other business sources
- Social security benefits
- Disability benefits
- Retirement or pension payments
- Reemployment or unemployment assistance
- Workers compensation benefits
Your net income will then be calculated by subtracting deductions such as health insurance payments, union dues, other child support and taxes from your gross income. After the net income amount is determined, then the guidelines outlined by Florida Statute 61.30 are used to figure out how much you have to pay.
Legal Ways to Avoid Having to Pay Child Support
It is extremely difficult to legally avoid having to pay child support, but it isn’t completely impossible. Three ways that this is possible are found here:
- Each of the parents agrees not to have the child support payments.
- By termination of the child support agreement, which is possible if you lose your job, if the custodial parent diets, if you go to prison, if the child turns 18 or if there is a significant change in custody.
- Eliminating your parental rights.
In the state of Florida, child support is mandated; however, if you don’t believe you can pay what has been ordered, you should hire a family law attorney for help. Any questions you have about child support can be answered by calling our team of family law attorneys at The Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. by calling 305-358-2330.