What Does Child Support Cover In Florida?

What does child support cover in Florida? This article discusses the particulars of how it works in the Sunshine State.

No matter how amicable your divorce proceedings may be, there are bound to be some complications and complex decisions to be made. This is especially true when minor children are involved. 

You and your spouse want what’s best for the kids but might have different ideas on how to adequately achieve that goal. However, as children grow and mature, increasing accommodations must be considered. Along with the basics, you want to ensure that your children will be well-positioned in education as they enter their early teenage years. 

Florida Child Support: Florida Family Law

In Florida, under the state’s child support law 39.01, every parent’s financial responsibility and obligation to help assure their minor child’s food, shelter, education, and other necessities per the parents’ abilities. In addition, parents should provide for their children and cannot waive child support payments. All parents must share their respective roles in caring for their children as outlined by state law.

Furthermore, the amount of child support will be based primarily on the parents’ income, custodial rights, and several children involved. The court strictly enforces Florida’s Child Support Guidelines in most instances, but occasionally the judge can deviate from these guidelines. A family law attorney at the Law Offices of Granda & Associates can help provide examples of when a judge may deviate from the guidelines.

What Does Child Support Cover In Florida?

What Does Child Support Cover In Florida? 

In Florida, child support pays for a child’s necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. It also includes education, sports, activities, travel, and recreation. In addition, in Florida, every child support decree must include a provision for the child’s health insurance.

The court will ensure parents provide health insurance when their children have the right to it. The child support obligation is calculated in accordance with the health insurance the parent pays. When a parent pays for health insurance, they reduce child support owed.

Moreover, the court addresses non-covered medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug costs. Conversely, each parent is responsible for a portion of the total cost. This can be done on a pro-rata basis or a 50-50 basis. This means that each parent pays a proportion of the parties’ combined income. Hence, parents are responsible for all reasonable and prudent non-covered medical expenses.

Child Support With Shared Custody

In joint custody cases, the court systematically evaluates which party pays the most in child support. 

  • The first step is to review the guidelines to calculate how much each party will have to pay. 
  • Next, each parent’s share is determined by dividing their monthly income by the combined total of both parents. 
  • Thirdly, the percentage of time each parent cares for the child is calculated and considered. If, for example, one party has 50% custody, they would be responsible for half.
  • Fourthly, is to use Florida child support guidelines to determine each parent’s share of the support. 
  • Lastly, the court will proportion the complete support responsibilities on the percentage of time each parent has custody of the child. Moreover, additional calculations will be needed if the combined monthly income exceeds the $10,000 listed in Florida child support guidelines. The amount over $10,000 will be based on several children and income over $10,000. See Florida child support law 61.30.

When Does Child Support End?

In Florida, child support usually ends when a child is 18. However, in some cases, such as a child still in high school who will graduate before turning 19, or a physically or emotionally needy child past 18, support may be extended. Sometimes a parent who has been ordered to pay child support fails to do so. This could happen for a variety of reasons. Speaking with Granda lawyers about your legal options is a good idea.

Do I Have to Hire a Child Support Lawyer?

If you are a parent in Florida and need legal assistance with child support, contact Law Offices of Granda & Associates PA. Our lawyers can help you understand what child support covers in your situation and help you enforce your support agreement.