Child support is a critical factor in caring for your children after a divorce. If you are the non-custodial parent, you will be responsible for paying the custodial parent a certain amount of money in order to help with the various costs associated with raising children. The needs are different for each Florida family, and what you may have to pay depends on your unique situation.
The amount that you will pay actually comes from a mathematical formula that takes into account various factors. State law outlines these guidelines, yet it takes great care to consider special needs and other important factors that may affect your children.
The factors considered to determine child support
The intent of the standards and guidelines in state child support laws is to ensure that a child's best interests are protected and that he or she gets the care needed for a certain quality of life. The formula considers the following:
- The income of both parents
- The child's health care needs and expenses
- Child care costs
- Standard needs of the child
In some cases, it is possible that the amount determined could deviate from the amount calculated by the formula. If the child has special health care needs or has extensive costs related to education, it is possible that this could affect the child support amount.
What if my financial circumstances change?
Your financial circumstances can continue to change long after approval of your original support order. In certain circumstances, your situation may be grounds for a modification to that support amount. If you cannot pay due to job loss or other circumstances beyond your control, you can move to have your support amount reduced.
On the opposite note, the custodial parent has the right to seek additional support if the needs of your child are more extensive and costly than they originally were. Modifications are possible, but only obtainable by following the appropriate legal steps.
Can I negotiate child support?
If you believe that it would be more beneficial to pay an amount of support determined through negotiations, you have the right to pursue this option. However, you will find it beneficial to work with an attorney who can help you navigate this complex issue and determine if you may be eligible for a deviation from the state's formula. Child support is just one factor of divorce that can be complicated and stressful, but you do not have to face it alone.