Child support is mandatory in Florida. Of course, given that you "split custody," it's possible that the child support guidelines won't require that support be paid. You can calculate child support by using the forms at www.flcourts.org, or there are two good iPad/iPhone apps that have been developed recently for around $5. Nothing, by the way, prevents the person receiving the child support from giving the money right back.
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Child Support is provided for in Florida statutes, thus, parties cannot negotiate away from having to pay for child support. However, child support is also based on income, and time-sharing (i.e. custody). If your income is relatively close and the time-sharing is also close to 50/50, then the guidelines for child support may provide for little to no support. Parents can, however, deviate around 5% from the child support guidelines, however, everything must be approved by a judge.
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Well, a judge must approve your agreement. If it does not have a good reason or explanation of why child support is not included, the judge can order it (since they see child support as a right that belongs to the child and the parents cannot agree away). You may want to be very careful with the drafting and language of the agreement so that your wishes and your future ex's wishes are included, your child's rights are protected, and the judge is happy and accepts the agreement. As if everything would be so easy right?
Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
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