Child Support Law

Florida Child Support Law

When discussing child support, it is important for the parent paying child support to understand that the support payments are not for the ex-spouse, but rather to ensure that your children are clothed, fed, housed and healthy.

It can be hard to view child support this way, especially if you have an acrimonious relationship with your ex-spouse, but it is always the case. If you make more money than your ex-spouse, you will most likely have to pay child support. Custody arrangements generally do not affect child support amounts, unless the ex-spouse makes the exact income that you do and your time shared with the child is equal.


Florida child support is calculated to be fair to the paying parent and to the parent receiving support. Both parent’s incomes are taken into account as a combined monthly net income, as well as deductions for other child support payments being made for other children, income tax, and other items. The guidelines are laid out this way to ensure that the paying parent always has an ability to pay, and can’t easily miss payments. Allowances for childcare costs, health insurance and other items ensures that there is no undue financial burden on the support recipient. For more on how it is calculated, see this worksheet from the state of Florida.

You can also review the Florida Child Support guidelines which will give you a rough idea of what support will end up being before any deductions or allowances. Child support usually ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, but arguments can be made in divorce and paternity cases to extend child support in certain situations.


A family lawyer will ensure that no deductions or allowances are missed, and should be used to make sure that you aren’t paying more or receiving less than you should. With child support, it is important to get it right during the initial divorce or paternity case, as child support modifications can be costly to litigate in the future. A lawyer specializing in family law is your best choice for representation to ensure that no mistakes are made in the child support order.


For more on child support modifications, see our child support modification section.