Paying child support to your ex may be unavoidable in certain situations. While you want to provide for your child, you do not want to overpay. Because child support is based on how much money you earn, a complete view of your finances is necessary in order for the court to come up with a monthly payment. In situations where you have unusual or fluctuating expenses, you may be eligible to have your support altered. The law in Florida describes several factors that will allow your child support amount to be changed (deviated). Let’s take a look at those factors, including how they may impact your child support payments.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
In Florida, child support is calculated by looking at both your and your ex’s total monthly income. That number is then plugged into a formula which will determine how much child support is to be paid per month. But that method is not always fair to every family. The law recognizes this and allows for a deviation (change) if you can show that it is warranted.
Accepted Child Support Deviation Factors In Florida
The law lists a number of different factors that a judge can look at in determining if a deviation is required. Keep in mind, though, that the court can deviate if it believes that doing so will be in the best interest of the children. Some of the factors accepted by the court to deviate a child support order are:
- Unusual medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses of your child. These costs cannot be routine, but instead must be something that the typical child does not need. An example would be the costs associated with the treatment for seizures.
- Money that is earned by your child (excluding supplemental security income). If your child has a part time job (e.g. actor, server) or is supported by a trust fund, then you may be entitled to a deviation.
- Changes to your income due to seasonal employment. If your employment or income is significantly reduced or nonexistent during a certain part of the year, then you may be entitled to a change in your child support.
- Your child’s age. As children get older, their needs will change and may require either more or less support.
- The special needs of your child (e.g. costs relating to their disability). If your child is disabled and that disability has costs associated with it, then this may be considered in changing your child support amount.
- Assets owned by you, your ex, and your child. If you, your ex, or your child have substantial assets that are not a part of your monthly income, then they may be considered in altering child support.
- Whether you or your ex receive the IRS Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exception and waiver of that exemption. Usually, the parent that has primary custody of the child is entitled to a tax credit through the IRS. If this amount is significant, then the court may use that amount to adjust the monthly child support.
- Whether your child support payment is more than 55 percent of your gross pay. The law does not allow a child support order to be any more than 55 percent of a parent’s pay. What this means is that if your child support order is more than 55 percent of your monthly pay, then you may be entitled to a deviation.
- The number of overnights that you have with your child. The amount of time your child spends with you can be factored into your child support. If your child spends a significant number of overnights with you in comparison to your ex, you may be entitled to a deviation.
- Any other change that is needed to achieve a fair result.
Florida Child Support Lawyers
If you have questions about a deviation from child support, then you should talk with a family law lawyer for clarification and guidance. They can let you know where you stand and how to go about getting the court to make a change. The Joseph Firm, P.A. handles all types of family law matters including child support, custody, and divorce. Consult with one of the experienced child support lawyers at The Joseph Firm, P.A. about your matter by calling (305) 501-0992 or contacting us online today.