• Child Support & Alimony FAQ

    • How is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

      Typically, child support is determined in accordance with Florida’s statutory Child Support Guidelines, section 61.30, of the Florida Statutes. This section takes into consideration each parent’s income, expenses for health insurance coverage, expenses for work-related childcare, and the number of overnights each parent is spending with the minor children. However, upon good cause shown, the trial court may deviate either upward or downward from the Florida Child Support Guidelines.

    • Am I eligible to receive alimony or spousal support from my spouse? Must I pay alimony or spousal support to my spouse?

      Under Florida Law, one spouse may be required to pay spousal support (“alimony”) to the other, whether on a temporary basis, for a fixed period of time, or for an indefinite period of time. Spousal support is addressed in section 61.08, Florida Statutes. The inquiry is fact specific, and it takes into account a number of statutory factors. Often, the most significant factors are the length of the marriage, and the payor’s ability to pay spousal support versus the recipient’s need for spousal support.

    • Can child support or alimony be modified in Florida?

      Child Support in Florida is always modifiable based on a substantial change in financial circumstances. For example, a party’s increase in income may be grounds for an increase in support, or a party’s involuntary loss of employment may be grounds to seek a decrease. Alimony may or may not be modifiable based on a substantial change in financial circumstances depending on the terms of your written agreement with your spouse or former spouse. If you agreed in your marital settlement agreement that alimony would be nonmodifiable, then it is not modifiable even if there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances unless your former spouse agrees to the modification.

    • How long will I have to pay child support in Florida?

      Under Florida law, child support is paid until a child reaches the age of 18 years, marries, dies, or otherwise becomes emancipated. However, child support shall continue to be paid for a child over the age of eighteen who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until the child graduates from high school provided the child will graduate prior to their 19th birthday. In certain circumstances child support may be payable after a child turns 18, for example, by agreement between the parties or in the case of a disabled child. Our office has experience with both situations.

    • Can child support payments be taken out of my spouse’s wages and paid directly to me?

      All initial court orders in Florida for child support payments must state that payments be made by income withholding orders directed to the employer, unless the parties specifically agree to direct payments. Payments are made through Florida’s State Depository. Most parties agree to direct payments, because if a party is currently making direct payments of support, but is failing to do so in full, or in a timely manner, the Court will an income withholding order upon request.