According to Florida Statutes Section 61.046 (21), a “Support order” means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or administrative agency for the support and maintenance of a child which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support. When the child support obligation is being enforced by the Department of Revenue, the term “support order” also means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction for the support and maintenance of a child and the spouse or former spouse of the obligor with whom the child is living which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support.
When child support is an issue in a case, the Court must first determine the respective incomes of each of the parties. Specifically, the Court will look at Florida Statutes Section 61.30 (2). In accordance with s. 61.30 (2) a parent's gross income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:
- Salary or wages.
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
- 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.
- Disability benefits.
- All workers' compensation benefits and settlements.
- Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
- Social security benefits.
- Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
- Interest and dividends.
- Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
- Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
- Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
- 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.
Then Florida s. 61.30 (2) requires a determination of the parties net income, Pursuant to s. 61.30 (2) a parent's net income is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income. Allowable deductions for purposes of calculating child support shall include:
- Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities.
- Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax.
- Mandatory union dues.
- Mandatory retirement payments.
- Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child.
- Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid.
- Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before the court.
- Net income for each parent shall be computed by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income.
- Net income for each parent shall be added together for a combined net income.
Once the parties' combined net income is established, each of the parties' child support obligations is set forth according to the Florida Child Support Guidelines (See Florida Statutes Section 61.30 (6) for the relevant table).
At Segarra & Associates, P.A. , we strive to make sure that each parties' ongoing child support obligation is calculated correctly, so that the minor children's expenses can be met. We are acutely cognizant that in these difficult economic times, every dollar counts.
Contact us for a consultation regarding your child support case. We are committed to giving your case our full attention and are available now to speak with you. Call us today. (305) 742-5042.