In Florida child support is determined under the child support guidelines, which are set forth in Section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes. The statute sets out a formula for calculating the presumed amount of child support to be paid. In order to calculate the presumed amount of child support the formula requires that you input the gross monthly income of the parents and deduct certain allowable deductions to determine the net monthly income of the parents. Then you input the monthly cost of medical insurance for the child(ren), the monthly cost of daycare for the child(ren) and certain other monthly expenses incurred for the child(ren) and indicate which parent is actually paying these expenses. After entering the foregoing figures into the formula it will result in the presumed amount of child support to be paid by a parent who does not have time sharing with the child(ren) for more than 20% of the overnights. If the child support paying parent has timesharing with the child(ren) for more than 20% of the overnights than the formula calls for additional calculations, which result in a lesser amount of child support for each additional overnight that the parent has the child(ren).
The trier of fact may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus five percent (5%) , from the guideline amount, after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. The trier of fact may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than five percent (5%) from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.
The court may adjust the total minimum child support award, or either or both parents’ share of the total minimum child support award, by more than five percent (5%) based upon the following deviation factors:
- Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
- Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.
- The payment of support for a parent which has been regularly paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.
- Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
- The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
- Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.
- Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.
- The impact of the Internal Revenue Service Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.
- An application of the child support guidelines schedule that requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.
- The particular parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.
- Any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt that the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.