Once parents get through the difficult and complicated process of deciding child custody during a separation or divorce, the process of deciding what a non-custodial parent should pay is far simpler in Florida. There are some exceptions to the Sunshine State's child support schedule, and a few reasons they would apply to a child's parents and family.
- How does a court decide if different levels of child support are warranted?
Chapter 61 of Florida's state statutes cover the amounts that a paying parent would owe the custodial parent for child support based on their monthly income. Another section of this chapter lists "deviation factors," which are the legal reasons to require a different amount than stated in child support schedules from a parent.
- What are the deviation factors recognized in Florida?
Expenses based on a specific medical or mental health issue may be assessed into child support payments. If a custodial parent has become accustomed to being paid for (or paying for) child care needs, that may also be factored in. A child's independent income or resources may need child support less required and therefore less would be assessed from parents.
- Does a parent's income matter in child support beyond the calculation?
If one parent has an extraordinarily high income, one may argue that the child deserves an equally high standard of living. This is often called "good fortune" child support in Florida. A custodial parent looking to secure "good fortune child support" may consult with a lawyer on reviewing a parent's income and ability to support a child's standard of living.