Public policy within the State of Florida, promoted and enforced through statutes, places an obligation upon the parents of children to provide financial support for their children until each child reaches the age of majority (18 years old). In a limited way, this obligation can be extended to the age of 19 if the child is still in high school, is still dependent upon parental support, and is expected to graduate prior to reaching the age of 19.
It is the child’s legal right to receive support. One parent cannot and does not impose or make the other parent pay child support. Rather, it is an obligation placed on both parents by the State of Florida. And because it is a right that belongs to the child, the parents cannot between themselves negotiate or contract away their respective legal obligation to provide child support.
Recognizing that each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her child(ren), Florida created a statutory guidelines schedule that is used to calculate the amount of each parent’s obligation to pay child support. The amount due in monthly child support is calculated principally using the combined net income of both parents, then identifying the figure in the guidelines corresponding to that amount and the number of children in need of support, and then calculating the percentage of each parent’s respective total contribution to the total net income figure and applying that same percentage to the figure found applicable to their situation in the guidelines.
Additional factors can have relevance in calculating the final amount each parent is obligated to pay, so it is important that you seek the counsel of a marital and family law attorney to help you navigate through the complexities involved in calculating child support.
The Trerotola Firm, P.A.
4651 Salisbury Road, Suite 494
Jacksonville, Florida 32256