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How is the amount of child support determined in Florida?

A child support order or child support agreement outlines child support obligations. It includes what parents must do to provide for the support of their children. Parents entering the divorce process, or resolving child support concerns and disputes, may wonder how they can expect the amount of child support to be determined which can be a concern for both the paying parent and the recipient parent.  

Standard child support guidelines are established by Florida law for the calculation of child support obligations. The child support guidelines are used to determine the amount of child support needed for the child and the amount of child support the parent is required to pay. The guidelines are utilized when a child support order is initially established and if it is modified at any point. The child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the child care and health care costs for the child and the standard needs of the child.  

A table is then utilized to determine the amount of child support that includes child support amounts based on the age of the child and the net income of the parents. In some special circumstances, the child support order may be higher or lower than the recommended guidelines. Child support is an understandably important concern for both the paying a recipient parent of child support which is why it is helpful to be familiar with how it is calculated.  

Because of the importance of child support for families and children, it is useful for parents to understand how child support is determined and how it may be modified in certain circumstances. The family law process provides resources for parents and families with needs and concerns related to child support.  

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Child Support Amounts," Accessed Dec. 13, 2016 

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