Potential Child Support Calculations Made Easy
Child support is one of the most important and highly disputed aspects of any child custody case. There’s no doubt that both divorced parents should have an equal responsibility to provide for their children, just as they should have an equal opportunity to nurture, love, and influence their kids. The disagreements and confusion often surround what each party should be paying and how often. You may also find that, as a father, the Florida courts system has an unfair bias in favor of the mother in these matters (although it isn’t unheard of for father’s to get custody of their kids).
There are various factors that need to be taken into account when calculating child support and it’s vital for the wellbeing of your children and your own finances that this is done correctly. By gaining a little clarity on what both you and your former spouse should be paying before establishing any binding agreements, you and your attorney can better plan for negotiations that result in a fair division.
Some aspects of child support calculation you can learn from online resources like this one. However, this should always be supported by guidance from a professional family law attorney. They can help you to better understand the nuances of your individual family circumstances and state law that can help ensure your and your children get the fairest treatment. As the well-known child custody lawyers for dads in Tampa, FL, In Law We Trust, P.A. should be your very first call. Since 2014, the law firm of In Law We Trust, P.A., has been annually selected by the National Trial Lawyers of America as one of the Top 40 under 40 in Florida which is a professional organization by invitation only, composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40. We’ve also been a featured member of The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys since 2019, as well as included in Super Lawyers each year since 2017. Our firm is renowned for our experience in family law and for our successes in helping men with their pursuit of fair child support arrangements.
There are various factors that need to be taken into account when calculating child support. These have been determined by state legislation and the guidelines are set by the Florida Department of Revenue. While there are some variances depending on individual circumstances, it is usually these guidelines that judges will take into account when determining how much child support each parent is responsible for. There are rarely circumstances that arise in which neither parent has to pay a percentage of child support, so this is a good gauge by which to understand what you may be liable for.
As with any online tool, you have to approach its use with a degree of caution. While it is based on the guidelines for Florida, it shouldn’t be considered as a comprehensive statement or a standard by which you argue during mediation or your court case. There are individual aspects of each case and each parent’s individual circumstances that a fair judge should take into account when reaching a decision. Not to mention that there are variations when it comes to very high or very low incomes. As such, your best approach is to utilize it to gain a better understanding of what goes into determining child support payment, what you might expect from final calculations, and a jumping off point to work with your In Law We Trust, P.A. family law attorney.
The Reasons These Aspects Make a Difference
You’ll note that the calculator requires you to enter various figures. There may be aspects that you might be tempted to estimate or ignore because you feel they appear to be irrelevant. But each point on the calculator corresponds to how the state of Florida determines the guidelines for child support payments. It’s not quite as simple as other states where there is a standardized percentage for non-custodial parents to pay. Florida tends toward an equal division of responsibility of each parent, and therefore the calculation takes into account elements that promote this.
The income for each parent is required because child support is based on a joint calculation. Neither parent should be unfairly expected to contribute more to each child’s welfare than the other. As such, the standard amounts to be paid by each parent are allocated on the basis of the combined net monthly income.
The number of overnights detail is required because, in the event that the custody arrangement is not 50/50, the courts will perform a further calculation. This will see a greater percentage of the standard child support payment based on joint income being paid by the parent with less custodial responsibility.
Daycare and Medical Insurance
The daycare and medical insurance costs are required as these represent elements that can be dedicated from the amount you or your spouse pays in child support. In the case of child care, this cost can be added to the overall child support obligation if it results in your or your spouse’s ability to earn more income on behalf of the child (going to work, attending job interviews, etc.). Similarly, the cost of medical (including dental and vision) can be added to the overall obligation for support.
It’s important to note that these aren’t the only factors that will be under consideration when determining child support. There can be various mitigating elements that can be taken into account — costs arising from a disability, seasonal variations in income, and earned income by the child among them. However, for the most part this is the basis upon which the state draws up its guidelines.
When You Disagree with a Calculation
There may be times that you feel that the amount of child support you’re being charged — or indeed what your spouse is paying — is not a fair representation. The courts’ first duty is to make sure that your child is getting the correct level of support for the care they need, but it is also important to make certain that the balance of responsibility is equal.
Usually, an appeal can be lodged if you feel that your income has been incorrectly calculated or certain qualifying factors have not been taken into account. There has to be a substantial difference involved in these instances, you are unlikely to be granted a modification or review if the difference represents 10% more or less than the current order demands. Work with your family attorney to gain an understanding of whether your request has sufficient supporting evidence — bank statements, employment contracts, insurance documents, etc. — and is likely to influence a judge in your favor.
Your In Law We Trust, P.A. attorney can also review the documents of the initial child support review to establish whether there is also any “abuse of discretion standard”. This means that decisions were made by the judge in your case without substantial and competent evidence. From there, they will assist you in navigating the full appeals process, preparing your representations to give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
Collaborate With An Experienced Attorney in Child Support
Calculating child support can be a complex and frustrating process. As such, an experienced and competent lawyer is a vital tool in determining a fair outcome. Call us to begin the representation of you and your family. We will promptly review the details of the case and provide you with the dependable court representation that you deserve. In Law We Trust, P.A. is a firm of compassion and expertise in Tampa child support for fathers. We will work very hard to help you achieve your family’s goals.