When separated or going through a divorce in Florida, the judge would want to ensure that your children have enough resources that you could possibly give them to survive. These resources will come from your income and that of the other parent. So, the family court judge will consider multiple factors when determining the suitable amount.
Child custody arrangement and child support
The first factor the family law judge will look at is the custody arrangement of your children. If a parent has primary custody, they would likely receive child support from the non-custodial parent. This is because the law assumes that the custodial parent contributes directly by caring for the children most of the time. However, if the parents have joint physical custody, the family law judge may ask both parents to pay child support.
The judge would also want to know how much money is available to support your children. The judge will add up your salary, tips, investments and business profits to get your gross income. Then they will subtract your alimony, taxes, mortgage payments, health insurance, etc., to get your net income. They will use that amount to determine what you can pay comfortably while still supporting your children’s needs.
The standard of living
When making a child support determination, the judge will also consider the standard of living your children are accustomed to. If you and the other parent have a high income, your contributions should be enough to ensure they can maintain that lifestyle even after the divorce.
In Florida, parents can modify their child support agreement if there is a significant change in the same factors the court used to calculate the first support order. Also, it’s important to remember that failing to make payments as requested is a serious offense. The Florida Department of Revenue can take enforcement action against a delinquent parent, like wage garnishment, interception of state and federal tax refunds and suspension of professional and driver’s licenses. You may also end up in jail.