Monday, April 18, 2022

Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet

In Florida child support for divorcing couples is almost always mandatory, and is generally calculated before the judge signs the final order of dissolution of marriage. Sometimes when a couple has agreed upon an amount for child support, the court will approve that amount. But, unless the agreed upon amount is close to the amount which would be awarded in the child support guidelines, the judge is likely to reject it. Whether parents have agreed upon an amount or not, the child support calculation is necessary. 

 Pro se litigants and some document preparers struggle to prepare the child support guidelines worksheet as the form itself may seem daunting. For reasons way above my pay grade, the automated calculator on the Florida Supreme Court's site has been removed. I have located an unofficial calculator - – which works almost as well. The unofficial version does not create the form like the Florida Supreme Court approved form did, however, the form itself is easy enough once you have the amount calculated. 

The first thing to realize is that there is no way to calculate child support until both parents' Florida Family Law Financial Affidavits are side by side. And, the parents need to have decided how many overnight visits the children will have with each parent. Then follow the steps on the form or plug the numbers into the calculator. 

 Besides each parents' net income (Line 27 on their financial affidavit); you also need to know: 
which parent is paying for the children's medical insurance, and uninsured medical bills, and how much; 
which parent is paying for the children's daycare or after school care and how much, if any; 
the children's number of overnights with each parent; 
*the parents' combined incomes associated with the number of children subject to this child support. 

 *You'll find this number in the Florida Statutes and also in the Florida Supreme Court approved form and the unofficial form. Use the table to find the number to start with. Go down the rows from the column heading at the top that says: Combined Monthly Available Income. Then once you find the column for the correct number of children, you've also found the starting amount for child support. The unofficial calculator finds that number for you, but its good for you to know how this actually works.

 If you are a pro se litigant and need help calculating your child support. Please contact us at 800-515-0496.

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