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How child support is determined in Florida

Child support orders outline the obligations parents have for their children. The family law court helps parents set up a child support order and also provides options to help families modify their child support order or enforce a child support order when needed. Florida law sets child support guidelines which child support amounts and orders are based on.

Child support guidelines are used to help the family law court determine how much support the child needs and how much support the parent is required to pay. Child support guidelines are used to establish the initial child support order and are also used if the child support order is modified. Child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents; the health care and child care costs of the child; and the standard needs of the child.

Child support orders may be higher or lower than the child support guidelines and the family law court will generally provide a reason for deviating from the guidelines if it chooses to do so. One example of a reason the court might deviate from the guidelines might be based on the child's medical expenses and healthcare costs. Whether parents are seeking to establish a child support order, modify a child support order or enforce a child support order, the family law process provides resources to help.

Parents should never ignore a valid child support order and when necessary, use the family law system to seek any changes or help they need related to child support. Child support is important for children and families which is why the family law process provides ample resources to help families with challenges they may face related to child support.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Child Support Amounts," Accessed Sept. 14, 2017

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