Ever wonder why you and your co-worker have different child support obligations even though you earn the same income? That is because child support in Florida considers many factors aside from just the parties’ incomes. Child support calculations take into consideration a number of things, such as union dues, the parent’s health insurance, the child’s health insurance, child support ordered and paid in another case, as well as day care expenses.
Recently, the law was changed so that child support is also dependent upon the number of overnights that each party has with the child. If the obligor or paying parent has at least 20% of the yearly overnights with the minor child, then that parent receives a reduction on his or her child support obligation. That reduction increases with each additional overnight as well. So a parent with 30% of the overnights will be paying substantially less than a parent with 20% of the overnights, if all other factors were equal. The law used to require that a parent would have to have at least 40% of the overnights in order to receive a deduction in their child support obligation, but a few years back that law so as to only require 20%.
The thinking behind this policy is simple: the parent paying child support should not have to pay as much child support if the child is with them a substantial amount of the time because they are already providing support for the child when the child is with them.
This is good news for parents currently paying child support. In Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, most parents paying child support receive at least 90 overnights a year, which is roughly 25% of the overnights. If this is the case for you, then you might just be entitled to a reduction in your child support based upon a recalculation of the child support guidelines. Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you with determining what your child support obligation should be.