Florida Child Support Attorney Providing Legal Guidance in Sarasota, Venice & Bradenton
Financial security for your children that is fair for all involved
At the Sarasota and Bradenton Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A., we know that child support is one of the most sensitive issues in a divorce. In today’s economy, it is imperative to come up with an amount that supports children without creating undue financial stress. The most recent U.S. census reports that the median household income in Sarasota County is just under $53,000 per year. Whether you are in that income range or above it, the amount of child support you pay or receive is critically important to your child’s well-being.
How Florida child support is calculated
Typically, the person who is commonly referred to as the primary residential parent —the parent with whom the child spends the most overnights—is the parent to whom child support will be paid. However, both parents are responsible for the financial support of their child. Florida child support guidelines are used to estimate the amount of child support that is required. It is based on:
The monthly gross income of both parents, including wages or salary, commissions, bonuses, tips and/or overtime
Business income derived from self-employment, partnerships or contract employment; that is, gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income. This includes professional practices.
Disability benefits, workers’ compensation payments or settlements and Social Security benefits: Public assistance is NOT included
Rental income and income from royalties, trusts or estates
The guidelines also consider allowable deductions in the calculation, such as:
Adjusted federal, state and local income taxes
Federal insurance payments and self-employment tax
Mandatory union dues and retirement payments
Health insurance, except payments for a minor child’s coverage
Court-ordered spousal support (alimony) being paid to a former spouse
Court-ordered child support for other children that is actually being paid
Other facts about child support
Like every state in the U.S., child support in Florida is not optional. If you are getting a divorce, you and your spouse are required by law to care for your children financially.
Child support is generally required until the child turns 18, unless he or she is still in high school. In the case of disabled children, support will often be required for a much longer period of time.
Child support may be modified in cases of changes in income, such as unemployment. It may also be increased in cases of where income has gone up.
Remarriage, relocation or deliberately quitting a job does not get you off the hook for paying child support. Refusal to do so can result in having your driver’s license and/or U.S. passport suspended or revoked, your tax refund intercepted and taken from you, and may even land you in jail.
Find out how we can help you with questions about child support, including modification and enforcement
We offer a free, 30-minute telephone conversation that can help you get some of the answers to questions you may have about Manatee or Sarasota County child support. To schedule a convenient time to talk, please contact us or call our office at (941) 556-7020.
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