Child support can be a confusing issue when couples don’t understand how the court calculates support payments. There are many misconceptions regarding child support in Florida, and many of those inconsistencies deal with how it’s calculated and how child support and custody impact one another. The goal of the child support and custody arrangements is to create stability for children. In cases where parents have equally split custody of their child, the financials do not usually mirror equal custody. When custody is calculated, the goal of the court is to reach an arrangement where both parents are responsible for precisely 50% of their minor child’s financial needs. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to reach this position naturally, so child support is calculated to ensure each parent is responsible for half of their child’s expenses. So, when custody is evenly split, and expenses are equally shared, how does the court determine child support?
How Child Support is Determined in Florida
According to Florida Statutes 61.13, child support is not based solely on physical custody of the minor child. Even when physical custody is evenly split, child support is still awarded to one parent. Florida family court requires a monthly support award be paid to the minor child until they reach the age of maturity. The primary reason for this is that even when custody seems completely even, each parent’s income is rarely equal. Each parent likely has different expenses and assets. The court is trying to create an equal quality of life between the households the child will live in with each parent. The biggest indicator and primary determining factor is the income of each parent. Typically, the parent who makes more money will pay child support, even if the other parent can prove they pay half the child’s expenses.
When determining child support, the court will review several factors:
- Insurances Costs
- Childcare Expenses
- Relationship with the Child
- Time Spent with the Child
- Tax Liabilities
- Total Monthly Expenses
- Other Related Expenses for the Child
In child support cases, it’s rare, but a judge can decide that no support is necessary. This would be the outcome of parents with equal assets, incomes, and equal custody. The judge could also decide monthly child support payments are not needed if a higher-earning parent covers major expenses in lieu of traditional support payments. If the parent with more money covers insurance, school tuitions, or childcare expenses, it will create an equitable circumstance.
Work With a Miami Child Support Attorney
At Beatriz Zyne, PA, we help parents ensure they’ve reached an equitable child support solution with their co-parent to avoid stressful negotiations. If you and your ex have an amicable relationship, you can work together to reach a fair agreement. If you feel your situation shouldn’t include a child support order, you can meet with Attorney Zyne to discuss the details of your case.
Our staff can provide the legal assistance needed to help you navigate the child support process. Issues of child support can be confusing and frustrating, but working with an attorney well versed in child custody and support issues can help you finalize the details of your divorce faster. The team at Beatriz Zyne, P.A., will provide all the legal assistance you need to handle your child support matter. Call us today at (305) 876-6138 to schedule a consultation today.