© 2009 Collaborative Lawyers, Inc.
by Arlene C. Richman, Esq.
Child support is provided for by Florida Statutes. The requirements are the same for all counties, so it would not matter whether the child support were established in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Martin County or elsewhere in Florida.
Child support represents the amount of money each parent contributes towards the support of their dependent child . Child Support is required to be provided until the youngest child reaches majority or until the child becomes emancipated, marries, dies, or joins the armed forces . However, if a child is beyond 18 years of age, the age of majority, the child could still be considered dependent and requiring support "when such dependency is because of a mental or physical incapacity which began prior to such person reaching majority or if the person is dependent in fact, is between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high school, performing in good faith with a reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of 19." 
Additionally, when the cost of health insurance for the minor child is reasonable and accessible to the child, there must be a provision for health insurance in any court order of support, and the amount to be paid by each parent is dependent on the facts of that case.  In addition to providing health insurance, the court shall also apportion any uncovered medical, dental and prescription medication to the parties according to the basic child support guidelines as defined by. 
The amount of child support paid by each parent is determined by the total income of each party, including bonuses, commissions, tips, social security, royalties, trusts, etc.  After the total income of both parents is obtained, the Florida Statutes contain a chart which specifies the total child support obligation based on the total income of the parents, as well as the number of children.  Once the total amount is determined, each parents proportional share of the total child support amount is determined by their proportionate share of the total income.  Additionally, child care costs which are incurred in order for a parent to work, job search or obtain education which will lead to enhanced income of current employment is also factored into the amount of child support to be paid.  The amount of child support paid includes consideration of the child's health insurance, and uncovered medical expenses. 
The amount of child support paid by one parent to another is also affected by the amount of time each parent spends in caring for the minor child. If one parent spends 40% or more of the overnight time with the minor child during their time-sharing period, the child support is adjusted to reflect the additional time spent with the minor child. 
The Florida Statutes contain very specific monetary guidelines to determine child support. Unless there are unusual circumstances that cause a deviation from the guidelines, the guideline amount of child support controls.  Some of these circumstances include extraordinary medical, psychological, education, or dental expenses.  or the independent income of the child , or the special needs of the child. 
FOOTNOTES (Citations in this article are to Florida Statutes
 Fla. Stat. § 61.13 (1)(a) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.13 (1)(a) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 743.07(2) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.13(1)(b) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.13 (1) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (2)(a)(1)-(14) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14(6) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14)(6)(9) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14)(6)(7) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14)(6)(8) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14)(6)(10) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14)(6) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 14(11)(a)(1) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14(11)(a)(2) RETURN TO TEXT
 See Florida Stat. § 61.30 (14(11)(a)(6) RETURN TO TEXT
Arlene Richman is an attorney practicing family law in South Florida since 1987. She is a certified as a family law mediator.
Information on this website should not be taken as legal advice. Laws change, situations differ, and there may be exceptions to general rules. Except as otherwise may be provided, this website and contents are © 2009 Collaborative Lawyers, Inc. Collaborative Lawyers, Inc., is a state-wide educational and professional development association and business directory of independent Florida licensed attorneys at law and law firms who practice in the areas of collaborative divorce and collaborative family law. It is not a law firm or attorney referral organization.
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