Child support is the financial support that one parent pays to another parent to meet a child’s basic needs. Usually, the noncustodial parent will pay the parent who has physical custody of the child. This form of support can be administratively ordered or mandated by a family law court. If you’re a Florida resident, here are some things you should know about paying and receiving child support.
Child support: the basics
The laws of the state govern child support payments based on several factors, such as which parent should pay, when the payments should be submitted, how much the child support should be, and when the child support payments will end.
If you have physical custody of your children and the children live with you the majority of the time or you’re the child’s caregiver (but not a parent), you can file for child support. Emancipated children who don’t live with either parent can file for child support as well. The Department of Social Services will also pursue financial support for children who are in foster care.
Determining child support
Each state has separate rules for calculating child support. There are several factors to consider, including which parent the child lives with and how much visitation the child has with the noncustodial parent. The incomes of both parents are also taken into account.
The court will use certain formulas, such as the income shares model, to ensure that child support payments are fair for both parties. Parents will have the opportunity to present any extenuating circumstances to the court if standard formulas are inadequate in addressing a family’s specific needs.