Once Paternity has been established as a matter of law, you will need to start thinking about the Parenting Plan and Child Support. – Part 3 of 3.
If you have not established Paternity or a Parenting Plan, you should contact a family lawyer to help you with those and child support. In the meantime, check out parts 1 and 2 of this process on my blog, Custody Rights for the Unwed Father – Establishing Paternity and Custody Rights for the Unwed Father – Parenting Plan.
You should use an attorney to help you with Paternity, a Parenting Plan, and Child Support. These cases can get difficult and having an experienced family lawyer by your side is invaluable!
Child Support Guidelines Chart
Child Support in the state of Florida is done through preset guidelines with small deviations allowed. The guidelines start with the combined income of both parties and the family size. If you find your combined income and family size in the chart below, they will lead you to a number. This number is the amount of money your child needs to be supported each month. This number is not the number that either party will end up paying.
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
The next step is to figure out how much of the amount you found in the document above each party will be responsible for. For example, if the child support amount is $500 per month based on the guidelines chart, the parties will split that amount up. The split will be based on the amount of money each party makes, the amount of the expenses paid for the child, and the number of days each party has the child per year. If these things are mostly equal, then both parties may each be responsible for $250 per month, meaning no one pays child support. If one party is responsible for the $200 per month and the other party is responsible for $300 per month, then the party responsible for $300 per month will pay the other party $100 per month. The document below helps you figure this out.
Child Support Guidelines Deviation
You will notice at the bottom of the above child support guidelines worksheet, it allows you to choose an option to request a deviation from the child support guidelines. The court may, at its discretion, deviate up or down by 5%. If the court deviates by more than 5%, a written explanation of why is required. Some reasons the court may deviate from the child support guidelines include (but are not limited to):
- Extraordinary medial expenses
- Extraordinary dental expenses
- Child(ren) with special needs that cause extra expenses
- Seasonal variation in the parentins income
- The impact of the child care credit and the earned income tax credit each year
- A child suppport amount that requires one party to pay more than 55% of their gross income
- The likelihood that either parent will actually exercise thier ordered parenting time
- And many of situations that are specific to each case
To deviate from the child support guidelines, you must file a motion to deviate:
Once child support is ordered, pay it! The state of Florida has the right to enforce child support and they will do it. If you do not pay child support, you will end up losing your driver’s license, fishing license, hunting license, passport, and may end up in jail. If you cannot handle the child support amount that has been ordered, it is important you find a lawyer to help you modify the amount ordered.
***Forms are provided by the Florida Courts and are complete with detailed instructions for the pro se litigant. I am NOT advising you to file these forms because I do not know your case details. It is important that you contact an attorney to be sure you are filing the proper forms for your particular case facts. If you feel like you can handle your child custody case, please do your research first and be sure to follow the Florida court’s directions and the directions provided by your county.***
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