The Lowdown on Florida Statutes 61.30 and Florida Child Support Payments
A Florida child support guidelines worksheet and what makes up a parents support obligation can be difficult to understand. Therefore, it’s best to start with how to define income under Florida Statutes 61.30.
What to Include On a Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Many factors make up the obligation contained in a Florida support calculation. It’s especially important to note that the myth surrounding a Florida child support calculator is just that. Florida Statutes 61.30 contains the factors to include in this legal determination:
- Periodic monetary support.
- The maintenance of health care insurance for the benefit of children. This includes uncovered health care expenses.
- The payment of educational expenses of children.
- Various forms of security for support to protect against the payor’s death, disability, or voluntary non-payment.
Child Support Attorneys Explain the History Behind the Florida Child Support Statute, Florida Statutes 61.30
Historically, it was the father who was to provide Florida child support payments because he was the primary source of income. It was thought that the husband had a natural duty to provide for his kids. A moral responsibility soon followed. Fathers were first held to be legally responsible to provide for their children under English common law. There was almost nothing attorneys could do.
The penalties for non-payment were either imprisonment or seizure of personal property. Courts would then apply the proceeds of the sale to the children’s support. The position of women in modern society has caused a shift in the obligation previously placed solely on the father. Today, the general rule is that both parents share an equal obligation to support the children of the marriage or relationship.
What You Can Learn from Florida Statutes 61.30, Otherwise Known as the Florida Child Support Statute
There are rules in life that everyone follows:
- Don’t eat yellow snow.
- Three’s a crowd. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
- Florida child support payments are based on the income of the parents.
The third principle may not be as popular. But it still seems pretty simple. Then again, so does the chance of finding someone on an internet dating site without multiple cats. Hence, proving that life doesn’t always follow logic. But, I digress.
The Basics of a Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Every child support order entered on or after October 1, 2010, must include certain information.
- For child support to terminate on a child’s 18th birthday. Unless the court finds or previously found the child to be dependent. Or the parties agree otherwise.
- Florida child support guidelines which show the amount of the monthly net obligation for all the minor children at the time of the order.
- A Florida child support guidelines worksheet states the amount of child support owed for any minor children. Consequently, after one or more of the children aren’t subject to the order.
- Finally, the month, day, and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.
Deviations to a Child Support Order under Florida Statutes 61.30
The Florida child support guideline worksheet establishes the amount of the obligation an order contains. This is in both a initial proceeding and a proceeding for modification of an existing order.
In addition, a court may order Florida child support payments which vary, plus or minus 5 percent, from the Florida child support guidelines worksheet amount. In this instance, a judge considers several factors included in Florida Statutes 61.30:
- Needs of the children
- Ages of the children
- Standard of living
- The financial status and ability of each parent
In addition, there must be a record that explains why Florida child support payments of the guideline amount is unjust or inappropriate.
Boca Raton Child Support Attorneys explain the Role of Income in a Child Support Order
The main issue arises when it’s time to calculate gross income. Attorneys will tell you that gross income is defined by Florida Family Law statute as almost any form of payment a person receives. This is regardless of the source of the support amounts.
There are the usual suspects. Wages, salary, commissions, and bonuses are all in Florida Statutes 61.30. Consequently, identification of these categories is where Florida child support guidelines worksheet calculations get complex. The statute also lists workers’ compensation, certain types of social security benefits and retirement benefits among several other sources. To avoid an information overload that would give the Dalai Llama an anxiety attack, let’s narrow our focus.
A Cheat Sheet on the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
The first task is to figure out why the money is paid because all sources of income aren’t included when a parent’s support obligation is calculated. Some of these can probably be easily searched for. For example, benefits due to a party’s disability are considered gross income under Florida Statutes 61.30. This includes dependent public benefits for Florida child support payments.
However, any amount a party receives for the benefit of a child due to a parent’s disability doesn’t enter the equation. As a result, it simply acts a credit against the parent’s obligation. If the social security benefits are less than the Fl child support owed, the disabled parent pays the difference. If they exceed the amount owed, the child support parent disability benefits service the obligation in full.
Boca Raton Child Support Attorneys Detail the Factors of Florida Statutes 61.30 which Controls the Amounts Included on a Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Florida Statutes 61.30 defines gross monthly income in a child support order. As a result, there are many sources child courts consider for Florida child support payments:
- Salary or wages
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments
- Business income
- Disability benefits
- All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
- Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments
- Social security benefits
- Spousal support due to a previous marriage or court ordered alimony, the court must be informed support obligations
- Interest and dividends
- Rental income
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates
- Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses
- Gains derived from dealings in property unless the gain is nonrecurring
The Florida child support statute then allows certain deductions to arrive at the net income monthly brought in by each parent, such as health insurance and mandatory retirement dues. A full list of these deductions can be found on a party’s financial affidavit. The resulting net income for each parent is then plugged into a Florida child support guidelines worksheet.
Boca Raton Child Support Attorney Law explains Imputed Income for a Palm Beach Clerk Of Court Child Support Order under the Florida Child Support Statute
- Recent work history
- Occupational qualifications
- Prevailing earnings level in the community, if such payment information is available
This support court process isn’t firmly rooted in law. As a result, judicial administration can play a large part under the Florida child support statute. Judges may refuse to impute income if it’s necessary for men or women to stay home with their children. The party seeking to impute income for a Florida child support guidelines worksheet has the burden and must:
- Prove the unemployment or underemployment of the subject support order parents is voluntary.
- Identify the amount and source of the imputed income. This is proven through evidence of income from available employment for which the party is qualified.
Modification of Florida Child Support Payments Through the Palm Beach Clerk Of Court
Child support orders can generally be modified as to the amounts owed and the duration of the obligation. Even when parents agree to a particular length and duration of support, courts can modify the child calculations. An any child support attorney will tell you, a child is entitled to be supported by their parents and the right is vested in the child. Consequently, parents may not contract away the child’s right to support.
It’s Important to Find the Best Child Support Lawyer in Florida for Your Needs
Feel like someone just gave you a bunch of popsicle sticks and told you to recreate the Parthenon? Determining a party’s legal gross income for a Florida child support guidelines worksheet is more complicated than it seems. Attempting to tackle this family court issue alone won’t make you a hero. It will, however, ensure you a future filled with regret. And who really wants that?
Click West Palm Beach Child Support Attorney today to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County, South Florida.
Boca Raton Family Law Firm Practice Areas Include:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Child Custody Laws
Florida Parenting Plan
Time Sharing In Florida
Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Child Support Order
Florida Statutes Chapter 39
Florida Child Support Formula
Florida Child Custody Laws
Modification of Child Support Payments
Florida Child Support Enforcement