When there is a child or children involved in a divorce or in a paternity matter, the issue of child support must be addressed. Clients want to know how much child support they will receive (known as the payee) or have to pay (known as the payor). In divorce matters, the answer to this question is a very important one as the parties try to financially plan for life after divorce as the parties’ finances will now have to support two households on the same combined income that previously supported a single house hold.
Determining the amount of child support is dependent on several factors. First the gross income of each parent must be ascertained. This can be an easy task if a parent is a W-2 wage earner and can be extremely difficult if a parent is self-employed or receives reimbursed expenses from their employer that reduce living expenses. After ascertaining the gross income, the net income must be determined taking into consideration deductions for things like state and federal taxes, health insurance payments, child support actually paid for other children, and mandatory union and retirement payments. In addition to income being a factor in calculating child support, the timesharing schedule of the parties is also a significant factor.
Once the net income of the parties and timesharing schedule has been determined, the State of Florida has statutory guidelines that determine the amount of child support. The guideline amount, as it is often called, can be adjusted by the Court in its discretion for various reasons which can include extraordinary medical expenses, independent income of the child, seasonal variations in a parent’s income or expenses or special needs of the child.
For a full child support analysis, call the attorneys at Cortes Hodz, P.A.