The Law Offices of Ben I. Farbstein, P.A.

Understanding Child Support

Child Support Orders:

A child support order specifically provides what the parent must pay or do to support their child. Enforcing a child support order means getting the parent to comply with the court order.

If there is no court order, then there is no specific obligation that can be enforced. The first thing that needs to be done is to have a court order obtained establishing the child support amount.

Child Support Guidelines – Establishing Child Support

Child support in Florida is based upon child support guidelines. Child support guidelines are standards which have been established to determine how much support is needed for a child and how much a parent has to pay. The child support guidelines, make sure that the child support amounts are fair; and therefore, the guidelines are used when child support is established for the first time (child support ordered). Initially, and every time thereafter, that the child support amount changes, the child support guidelines are also used. When there is a review of a child support order, previously entered, a review of the child support guidelines, is appropriate to determine if the amount of support has changed, or if the prior calculation was properly done.

Child support guidelines take into consideration the following:

  • Income of Both Parents
  • Child’s Health Care Costs
  • Child’s Child Care Costs

When establishing child support for the first time, the court or the attorneys, if before court (or pro se-without  a Hollywood Child Support Attorney); child support must use the guidelines to decide how much child support will go into the child support order. There are, some special circumstances, where child support amounts can be higher or lower than the guideline amounts. For example, a judge can consider the child’s health circumstances, to determine whether a child support amount should be deviated, i.e.: a reason to increase the support amount; but if any increase or decrease from the child support guideline is made, there must be a written reason to support why the child support guideline amount was deviated from.

There are numerous child support guideline estimators available. The calculator available in this website will take basic information and give you an estimate of your child support amount. What must be carefully considered is that the net income of both parents must be accurate. Please note that the calculation is for estimate and informational purposes only. When making a final determination of how much child support should be made, the court or the attorneys would look at factors that are not included in this estimate.