What are the Florida child support guidelines?

The Florida child support guidelines were enacted in order to establish fair and uniform child support awards. However, the guidelines should not be applied without discretion, and the amount of child support established using the guidelines is subject to rebuttal. According to F.S. 61.30, any child support payment established using the guidelines can be modified if the amount is said to be “unjust.” If the child support awarded is beyond the payer’s ability to pay, the amount may be modified, or child support may be paid from nonrecurring income or assets.

The State of Florida Legislature put into place statutory guidelines to be used by the courts in determining the amount of child support to be paid. The guidelines for net monthly incomes between $650 and $10,000 are governed by F.S. 61.30 and are as follows:

Each parent’s gross income is determined;

The parent’s net income is determined by subtracting the allowable deductions from the gross income;

The parent’s net incomes are added together to determine a combined net income;

The guidelines schedule, F.S. 61.30 (6), is applied to the combined net income of both parents to determine minimum child support needed;

75% of a parent’s reasonable child care cost resulting from employment, job search, or job-related education are added to the basic obligation;

The cost of health care insurance and non-covered medical care, dental care, and prescription medications for the children are added to the basic obligation;

Each parent’s percentage share of the child support need is determined by dividing each parent’s monthly net income the combined monthly net income;

Each parent’s dollar share of the child support is determined by multiplying the total minimum child support need by each parent’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income.

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