Florida, like most states, uses the income share model to determine the amount of child support, if any, that is to be paid. Both parents’ incomes are calculated on the theory that the children should continue to have the same standard of living in a single parent household as they would if the parents were still living together.
A few states use the percentage-of-income model, which takes into account only the obligor’s income. A handful of states use some variation of the Melson formula, which considers the minimum needs of both the parents and the children.
The income share model is probably the most accurate and fairest of the three for Central Floridafamilies, which probably explains why it is the majority rule.
The first step is to calculate the parents’ combined net income. Certain deductions, such as taxes and child support from a prior relationship, are allowable. Other deductions, such as loan repayment and non-mandatory union dues, are considered discretionary and these amounts are not subtracted from the person’s gross income. The court can also consider Orlando daycare expenses and healthcare expenses.
The combined income is then compared with the number of children. For example, if the parents’ combined monthly net income is $5,000 per month, and there is one child, the child’s minimum need is $1,000. If the non-custodial parent (NCP) earns $2,500, or half the combined income, the NCP must pay $500 per month in child support. Parenting time can be considered at this point. If the custodial parent (CP) has the children for less than 81 percent of the time, the percentage can be adjusted accordingly.
It’s important that child support be paid, and that the amount is fair. For a consultation with attorneys who make sure everything is done right, contact our office. We aggressively represent husbands and fathers in court.