A child support order in the state of Florida is designed to outline what parents are required to do to support their children. The amount of child support is based on guidelines provided in Florida Law Statutes (http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2013/61.30). The courts have designed these guidelines to decide the amount of child support that will ensure the proper care for a child.
We have previously discussed how to Calculate Child Support in Florida, but one area that deserves more details are how additional children can affect the amount of child support ordered. While child support is generally calculated based on the income of both parents, the courts are also granted the ability to make certain exceptions and to deviate from the usual guidelines based on each family’s particular circumstances. One of the most common circumstances that requires additional consideration are other children.
The primary formula used to establish child support is to consider both parents’ net income and certain expenses. Often times expenses such as health insurance premiums, taxes, and childcare costs can be taken into consideration.
Children Born Prior to the Child Support Order
If a child support order is already in place for other children, typically that amount can be deducted from the parent’s gross income when calculating support amounts.
If child support is being provided for another child, but without a court order, another area of the law must be applied to the case to seek an adjustment in the order. Providing support for other children is something that is very often taken into consideration by a judge, as it is classified as a parent’s reasonable and necessary expense.
Children Born Later
If a child is born after a child support order has been made, a modification may only be raised to provide an increase in support. Subsequent children alone do not justify a decrease in support payments. A parent may argue that the existing child support obligation denies all children equal protection, but this theory has been struck down in the courts. This ensures that parents will continue to contribute to previous children although they have children born later.
In order to qualify for a decrease in support, special circumstances must exist. For example, if the child is born with expensive medical problems, a judge does have the ability to take this into consideration.
While the birth of later children is not grounds to seek modification, a clear financial picture must be presented to the courts so the judge can determine if a deviation is appropriate.
When determining the modification of child support in relation to other children, the judge must take all factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to deviate from the Florida guidelines.
If you need help with child support, and believe you should receive a modification, Seff & Capizzi Law Group has the ability to assist with your situation. At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we regularly assist clients and provide valuable information for those that need assistance in understanding how to approach this particular situation in their own lives.
If you need assistance with making or receiving child support payments, please call us at (954) 920-9220. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. Click here for more information about our family law practice and how Seff & Capizzi can help.