If you and your spouse have minor children and are in the midst of a divorce, the Court must award child support. Under Florida law, both parents have a duty to support a child.
It is important to note that child support cannot be waived. This is because child support is a right that belongs to the children and not that divorcing parents, therefore, you cannot negotiate away child support.
Child support is calculated in Florida based on the parent’s income and the number of overnights each parent has with the children. This calculation takes into account how many nights per week the children sleep at each parents’ home. In order to make this determination, the parents must first enter into a Parenting Plan- whether it be by agreement or by Court order.
Then, to complete the child support calculation, each parents’ income must be determined. If one parent pays for the children’s health insurance and/or daycare expense, then those expenses are also factored into the calculation.
Many times, clients tell me that their spouse is seeking an equal time-sharing schedule because their spouse does not want to pay child support, but that’s not the way it works.
An equal time-sharing schedule may reduce the amount of child support, but rarely does it eliminate it altogether. The calculation must still be done whether or not the parents have an equal time-sharing schedule.
See our child support calculator to help you determine the amount of child support you may expect to pay or receive.
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