Child Support

The court may at any time order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay support to the other parent in accordance with the child support guidelines schedule in Florida Statute section 61.30.

  1. All child support orders and income deduction orders entered on or after October 1, 2010, must provide:
    1. For child support to terminate on a child’s 18th birthday unless the court finds or previously found that s. 743.07(2) applies (“if the person is dependent in fact, is between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high school, performing in good faith with a reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of 19”), or is otherwise agreed to by the parties;
    2. A schedule, based on the record existing at the time of the order, stating the amount of the monthly child support obligation for all the minor children at the time of the order and the amount of child support that will be owed for any remaining children after one or more of the children are no longer entitled to receive child support; and
    3. The month, day, and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.

Each order for support shall contain a provision for health insurance for the minor child when health insurance is reasonable in cost and accessible to the child.

Monthly income shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control. In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available.

61.30 - Child support guidelines; retroactive child support.

  1. (a)The child support guideline amount as determined by this section presumptively establishes the amount the trier of fact shall order as child support in an initial proceeding for such support or in a proceeding for modification of an existing order for such support, whether the proceeding arises under this or another chapter. The trier of fact may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 5 percent, from the guideline amount, after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. The trier of fact may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate. Notwithstanding the variance limitations of this section, the trier of fact shall order payment of child support which varies from the guideline amount as provided in paragraph (11)(b) whenever any of the children are required by court order or mediation agreement to spend a substantial amount of time with either parent. This requirement applies to any living arrangement, whether temporary or permanent.

  2. (b)The guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.

    (c)For each support order reviewed by the department as required by s. 409.2564(11), if the amount of the child support award under the order differs by at least 10 percent but not less than $25 from the amount that would be awarded under s. 61.30, the department shall seek to have the order modified and any modification shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.

  3. Income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:

  4. (a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following
    1. Salary or wages.
    2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
    3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
    4. Disability benefits.
    5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
    6. Unemployment compensation.
    7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
    8. Social security benefits.
    9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
    10. Interest and dividends.
    11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
    12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
    13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
    14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

    (b) Monthly income shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control. In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available. If the information concerning a parent’s income is unavailable, a parent fails to participate in a child support proceeding, or a parent fails to supply adequate financial information in a child support proceeding, income shall be automatically imputed to the parent and there is a rebuttable presumption that the parent has income equivalent to the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census. However, the court may refuse to impute income to a parent if the court finds it necessary for that parent to stay home with the child who is the subject of a child support calculation or as set forth below:

    1. In order for the court to impute income at an amount other than the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census, the court must make specific findings of fact consistent with the requirements of this paragraph. The party seeking to impute income has the burden to present competent, substantial evidence that:
      1. The unemployment or underemployment is voluntary; and
      2. Identifies the amount and source of the imputed income, through evidence of income from available employment for which the party is suitably qualified by education, experience, current licensure, or geographic location, with due consideration being given to the parties’ time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.
    2. Except as set forth in subparagraph 1., income may not be imputed based upon:
      1. Income records that are more than 5 years old at the time of the hearing or trial at which imputation is sought; or
      2. Income at a level that a party has never earned in the past, unless recently degreed, licensed, certified, relicensed, or recertified and thus qualified for, subject to geographic location, with due consideration of the parties’ existing time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the time-sharing provided in the parenting plan or relevant order.

      (c)Public assistance as defined in s. 409.2554 shall be excluded from gross income.

  5. Net income is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income. Allowable deductions shall include:
    1. Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities.
    2. Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax.
    3. Mandatory union dues.
    4. Mandatory retirement payments.
    5. Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child.
    6. Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid.
    7. Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before
  6. Net income for each parent shall be computed by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income.
  7. Net income for each parent shall be added together for a combined net income.
  8. The following guidelines schedule shall be applied to the combined net income to determine the minimum child support need:

Combined

Monthly Net

Child or Children

Income

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

800.00

190

211

213

216

218

220

850.00

202

257

259

262

265

268

900.00

213

302

305

309

312

315

950.00

224

347

351

355

359

363

1000.00

235

365

397

402

406

410

1050.00

246

382

443

448

453

458

1100.00

258

400

489

495

500

505

1150.00

269

417

522

541

547

553

1200.00

280

435

544

588

594

600

1250.00

290

451

565

634

641

648

1300.00

300

467

584

659

688

695

1350.00

310

482

603

681

735

743

1400.00

320

498

623

702

765

790

1450.00

330

513

642

724

789

838

1500.00

340

529

662

746

813

869

1550.00

350

544

681

768

836

895

1600.00

360

560

701

790

860

920

1650.00

370

575

720

812

884

945

1700.00

380

591

740

833

907

971

1750.00

390

606

759

855

931

996

1800.00

400

622

779

877

955

1022

1850.00

410

638

798

900

979

1048

1900.00

421

654

818

923

1004

1074

1950.00

431

670

839

946

1029

1101

2000.00

442

686

859

968

1054

1128

2050.00

452

702

879

991

1079

1154

2100.00

463

718

899

1014

1104

1181

2150.00

473

734

919

1037

1129

1207

2200.00

484

751

940

1060

1154

1234

2250.00

494

767

960

1082

1179

1261

2300.00

505

783

980

1105

1204

1287

2350.00

515

799

1000

1128

1229

1314

2400.00

526

815

1020

1151

1254

1340

2450.00

536

831

1041

1174

1279

1367

2500.00

547

847

1061

1196

1304

1394

2550.00

557

864

1081

1219

1329

1420

2600.00

568

880

1101

1242

1354

1447

2650.00

578

896

1121

1265

1379

1473

2700.00

588

912

1141

1287

1403

1500

2750.00

597

927

1160

1308

1426

1524

2800.00

607

941

1178

1328

1448

1549

2850.00

616

956

1197

1349

1471

1573

2900.00

626

971

1215

1370

1494

1598

2950.00

635

986

1234

1391

1517

1622

3000.00

644

1001

1252

1412

1540

1647

3050.00

654

1016

1271

1433

1563

1671

3100.00

663

1031

1289

1453

1586

1695

3150.00

673

1045

1308

1474

1608

1720

3200.00

682

1060

1327

1495

1631

1744

3250.00

691

1075

1345

1516

1654

1769

3300.00

701

1090

1364

1537

1677

1793

3350.00

710

1105

1382

1558

1700

1818

3400.00

720

1120

1401

1579

1723

1842

3450.00

729

1135

1419

1599

1745

1867

3500.00

738

1149

1438

1620

1768

1891

3550.00

748

1164

1456

1641

1791

1915

3600.00

757

1179

1475

1662

1814

1940

3650.00

767

1194

1493

1683

1837

1964

3700.00

776

1208

1503

1702

1857

1987

3750.00

784

1221

1520

1721

1878

2009

3800.00

793

1234

1536

1740

1899

2031

3850.00

802

1248

1553

1759

1920

2053

3900.00

811

1261

1570

1778

1940

2075

3950.00

819

1275

1587

1797

1961

2097

4000.00

828

1288

1603

1816

1982

2119

4050.00

837

1302

1620

1835

2002

2141

4100.00

846

1315

1637

1854

2023

2163

4150.00

854

1329

1654

1873

2044

2185

4200.00

863

1342

1670

1892

2064

2207

4250.00

872

1355

1687

1911

2085

2229

4300.00

881

1369

1704

1930

2106

2251

4350.00

889

1382

1721

1949

2127

2273

4400.00

898

1396

1737

1968

2147

2295

4450.00

907

1409

1754

1987

2168

2317

4500.00

916

1423

1771

2006

2189

2339

4550.00

924

1436

1788

2024

2209

2361

4600.00

933

1450

1804

2043

2230

2384

4650.00

942

1463

1821

2062

2251

2406

4700.00

951

1477

1838

2081

2271

2428

4750.00

959

1490

1855

2100

2292

2450

4800.00

968

1503

1871

2119

2313

2472

4850.00

977

1517

1888

2138

2334

2494

4900.00

986

1530

1905

2157

2354

2516

4950.00

993

1542

1927

2174

2372

2535

5000.00

1000

1551

1939

2188

2387

2551

5050.00

1006

1561

1952

2202

2402

2567

5100.00

1013

1571

1964

2215

2417

2583

5150.00

1019

1580

1976

2229

2432

2599

5200.00

1025

1590

1988

2243

2447

2615

5250.00

1032

1599

2000

2256

2462

2631

5300.00

1038

1609

2012

2270

2477

2647

5350.00

1045

1619

2024

2283

2492

2663

5400.00

1051

1628

2037

2297

2507

2679

5450.00

1057

1638

2049

2311

2522

2695

5500.00

1064

1647

2061

2324

2537

2711

5550.00

1070

1657

2073

2338

2552

2727

5600.00

1077

1667

2085

2352

2567

2743

5650.00

1083

1676

2097

2365

2582

2759

5700.00

1089

1686

2109

2379

2597

2775

5750.00

1096

1695

2122

2393

2612

2791

5800.00

1102

1705

2134

2406

2627

2807

5850.00

1107

1713

2144

2418

2639

2820

5900.00

1111

1721

2155

2429

2651

2833

5950.00

1116

1729

2165

2440

2663

2847

6000.00

1121

1737

2175

2451

2676

2860

6050.00

1126

1746

2185

2462

2688

2874

6100.00

1131

1754

2196

2473

2700

2887

6150.00

1136

1762

2206

2484

2712

2900

6200.00

1141

1770

2216

2495

2724

2914

6250.00

1145

1778

2227

2506

2737

2927

6300.00

1150

1786

2237

2517

2749

2941

6350.00

1155

1795

2247

2529

2761

2954

6400.00

1160

1803

2258

2540

2773

2967

6450.00

1165

1811

2268

2551

2785

2981

6500.00

1170

1819

2278

2562

2798

2994

6550.00

1175

1827

2288

2573

2810

3008

6600.00

1179

1835

2299

2584

2822

3021

6650.00

1184

1843

2309

2595

2834

3034

6700.00

1189

1850

2317

2604

2845

3045

6750.00

1193

1856

2325

2613

2854

3055

6800.00

1196

1862

2332

2621

2863

3064

6850.00

1200

1868

2340

2630

2872

3074

6900.00

1204

1873

2347

2639

2882

3084

6950.00

1208

1879

2355

2647

2891

3094

7000.00

1212

1885

2362

2656

2900

3103

7050.00

1216

1891

2370

2664

2909

3113

7100.00

1220

1897

2378

2673

2919

3123

7150.00

1224

1903

2385

2681

2928

3133

7200.00

1228

1909

2393

2690

2937

3142

7250.00

1232

1915

2400

2698

2946

3152

7300.00

1235

1921

2408

2707

2956

3162

7350.00

1239

1927

2415

2716

2965

3172

7400.00

1243

1933

2423

2724

2974

3181

7450.00

1247

1939

2430

2733

2983

3191

7500.00

1251

1945

2438

2741

2993

3201

7550.00

1255

1951

2446

2750

3002

3211

7600.00

1259

1957

2453

2758

3011

3220

7650.00

1263

1963

2461

2767

3020

3230

7700.00

1267

1969

2468

2775

3030

3240

7750.00

1271

1975

2476

2784

3039

3250

7800.00

1274

1981

2483

2792

3048

3259

7850.00

1278

1987

2491

2801

3057

3269

7900.00

1282

1992

2498

2810

3067

3279

7950.00

1286

1998

2506

2818

3076

3289

8000.00

1290

2004

2513

2827

3085

3298

8050.00

1294

2010

2521

2835

3094

3308

8100.00

1298

2016

2529

2844

3104

3318

8150.00

1302

2022

2536

2852

3113

3328

8200.00

1306

2028

2544

2861

3122

3337

8250.00

1310

2034

2551

2869

3131

3347

8300.00

1313

2040

2559

2878

3141

3357

8350.00

1317

2046

2566

2887

3150

3367

8400.00

1321

2052

2574

2895

3159

3376

8450.00

1325

2058

2581

2904

3168

3386

8500.00

1329

2064

2589

2912

3178

3396

8550.00

1333

2070

2597

2921

3187

3406

8600.00

1337

2076

2604

2929

3196

3415

8650.00

1341

2082

2612

2938

3205

3425

8700.00

1345

2088

2619

2946

3215

3435

8750.00

1349

2094

2627

2955

3224

3445

8800.00

1352

2100

2634

2963

3233

3454

8850.00

1356

2106

2642

2972

3242

3464

8900.00

1360

2111

2649

2981

3252

3474

8950.00

1364

2117

2657

2989

3261

3484

9000.00

1368

2123

2664

2998

3270

3493

9050.00

1372

2129

2672

3006

3279

3503

9100.00

1376

2135

2680

3015

3289

3513

9150.00

1380

2141

2687

3023

3298

3523

9200.00

1384

2147

2695

3032

3307

3532

9250.00

1388

2153

2702

3040

3316

3542

9300.00

1391

2159

2710

3049

3326

3552

9350.00

1395

2165

2717

3058

3335

3562

9400.00

1399

2171

2725

3066

3344

3571

9450.00

1403

2177

2732

3075

3353

3581

9500.00

1407

2183

2740

3083

3363

3591

9550.00

1411

2189

2748

3092

3372

3601

9600.00

1415

2195

2755

3100

3381

3610

9650.00

1419

2201

2763

3109

3390

3620

9700.00

1422

2206

2767

3115

3396

3628

9750.00

1425

2210

2772

3121

3402

3634

9800.00

1427

2213

2776

3126

3408

3641

9850.00

1430

2217

2781

3132

3414

3647

9900.00

1432

2221

2786

3137

3420

3653

9950.00

1435

2225

2791

3143

3426

3659

10000.00

1437

2228

2795

3148

3432

3666

(a) If the obligor parent’s net income is less than the amount in the guidelines schedule:
  1. The parent should be ordered to pay a child support amount, determined on a case-by-case basis, to establish the principle of payment and lay the basis for increased support orders should the parent’s income increase.
  2. The obligor parent’s child support payment shall be the lesser of the obligor parent’s actual dollar share of the total minimum child support amount, as determined in subparagraph 1., and 90 percent of the difference between the obligor parent’s monthly net income and the current poverty guidelines as periodically updated in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 9902(2) for a single individual living alone.

  3. (b) For combined monthly net income greater than the amount in the guidelines schedule, the obligation is the minimum amount of support provided by the guidelines schedule plus the following percentages multiplied by the amount of income over $10,000:
Child or Children
One Two Three Four Five Six
5.0% 7.5% 9.5% 11.0% 12.0% 12.5%
  1. Child care costs incurred due to employment, job search, or education calculated to result in employment or to enhance income of current employment of either parent shall be added to the basic obligation. After the child care costs are added, any moneys prepaid by a parent for child care costs for the child or children of this action shall be deducted from that parent’s child support obligation for that child or those children. Child care costs may not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source.

  2. Health insurance costs resulting from coverage ordered pursuant to s. 61.13(1)(b), and any noncovered medical, dental, and prescription medication expenses of the child, shall be added to the basic obligation unless these expenses have been ordered to be separately paid on a percentage basis. After the health insurance costs are added to the basic obligation, any moneys prepaid by a parent for health-related costs for the child or children of this action shall be deducted from that parent’s child support obligation for that child or those children.

  3. Each parent’s percentage share of the child support need shall be determined by dividing each parent’s net monthly income by the combined net monthly income.

  4. Each parent’s actual dollar share of the total minimum child support need shall be determined by multiplying the minimum child support need by each parent’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income.

  5. (a)The court may adjust the total minimum child support award, or either or both parents’ share of the total minimum child support award, based upon the following deviation factors:
    1. Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
    2. Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.
    3. The payment of support for a parent which has been regularly paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.
    4. Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
    5. The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
    6. Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.
    7. Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.
    8. The impact of the Internal Revenue Service Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.
    9. An application of the child support guidelines schedule that requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.
    10. The particular parenting plan, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.
    11. Any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt that the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.

    (b) Whenever a particular parenting plan provides that each child spend a substantial amount of time with each parent, the court shall adjust any award of child support, as follows:
    1. In accordance with subsections (9) and (10), calculate the amount of support obligation apportioned to each parent without including day care and health insurance costs in the calculation and multiply the amount by 1.5.
    2. Calculate the percentage of overnight stays the child spends with each parent.
    3. Multiply each parent’s support obligation as calculated in subparagraph 1. by the percentage of the other parent’s overnight stays with the child as calculated in subparagraph 2.
    4. The difference between the amounts calculated in subparagraph 3. shall be the monetary transfer necessary between the parents for the care of the child, subject to an adjustment for day care and health insurance expenses.
    5. Pursuant to subsections (7) and (8), calculate the net amounts owed by each parent for the expenses incurred for day care and health insurance coverage for the child.
    6. Adjust the support obligation owed by each parent pursuant to subparagraph 4. by crediting or debiting the amount calculated in subparagraph 5. This amount represents the child support which must be exchanged between the parents.
    7. The court may deviate from the child support amount calculated pursuant to subparagraph 6. based upon the deviation factors in paragraph (a), as well as the obligee parent’s low income and ability to maintain the basic necessities of the home for the child, the likelihood that either parent will actually exercise the time-sharing schedule set forth in the parenting plan granted by the court, and whether all of the children are exercising the same time-sharing schedule.
    8. For purposes of adjusting any award of child support under this paragraph, “substantial amount of time” means that a parent exercises time-sharing at least 20 percent of the overnights of the year.

    (c) A parent’s failure to regularly exercise the court-ordered or agreed time-sharing schedule not caused by the other parent which resulted in the adjustment of the amount of child support pursuant to subparagraph (a)10. or paragraph (b) shall be deemed a substantial change of circumstances for purposes of modifying the child support award. A modification pursuant to this paragraph is retroactive to the date the noncustodial parent first failed to regularly exercise the court-ordered or agreed time-sharing schedule.

  6. (a) A parent with a support obligation may have other children living with him or her who were born or adopted after the support obligation arose. If such subsequent children exist, the court, when considering an upward modification of an existing award, may disregard the income from secondary employment obtained in addition to the parent’s primary employment if the court determines that the employment was obtained primarily to support the subsequent children.

    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), the existence of such subsequent children should not as a general rule be considered by the court as a basis for disregarding the amount provided in the guidelines schedule. The parent with a support obligation for subsequent children may raise the existence of such subsequent children as a justification for deviation from the guidelines schedule. However, if the existence of such subsequent children is raised, the income of the other parent of the subsequent children shall be considered by the court in determining whether or not there is a basis for deviation from the guideline amount.

    (c) The issue of subsequent children under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) may only be raised in a proceeding for an upward modification of an existing award and may not be applied to justify a decrease in an existing award.

  7. If the recurring income is not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, the court may order child support to be paid from nonrecurring income or assets.

  8. Every petition for child support or for modification of child support shall be accompanied by an affidavit which shows the party’s income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The affidavit shall be served at the same time that the petition is served. The respondent, whether or not a stipulation is entered, shall make an affidavit which shows the party’s income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The respondent shall include his or her affidavit with the answer to the petition or as soon thereafter as is practicable, but in any case at least 72 hours prior to any hearing on the finances of either party.

  9. For purposes of establishing an obligation for support in accordance with this section, if a person who is receiving public assistance is found to be noncooperative as defined in s. 409.2572, the department may submit to the court an affidavit or written declaration signed under penalty of perjury as specified in s. 92.525(2) attesting to the income of that parent based upon information available to the department.

  10. The Legislature shall review the guidelines schedule established in this section at least every 4 years beginning in 1997.

  11. In an initial determination of child support, whether in a paternity action, dissolution of marriage action, or petition for support during the marriage, the court has discretion to award child support retroactive to the date when the parents did not reside together in the same household with the child, not to exceed a period of 24 months preceding the filing of the petition, regardless of whether that date precedes the filing of the petition. In determining the retroactive award in such cases, the court shall consider the following:

    (a) The court shall apply the guidelines schedule in effect at the time of the hearing subject to the obligor’s demonstration of his or her actual income, as defined by subsection (2), during the retroactive period. Failure of the obligor to so demonstrate shall result in the court using the obligor’s income at the time of the hearing in computing child support for the retroactive period.

    (b) All actual payments made by a parent to the other parent or the child or third parties for the benefit of the child throughout the proposed retroactive period.

    (c) The court should consider an installment payment plan for the payment of retroactive child support.