Florida uses a chart based on the parties’ net incomes and the number of children to determine child support payments. The chart provides child support amounts for combined incomes from $800 per month through unlimited earnings per month, and up to six children. The guidelines divide each party’s net income by the amount from the chart.
If you make a combined total of $1,000 per month and have one child, the combined child support, as of 2011, is $235. If each parent makes $500, the $235 is shared equally by both parents. If one parent makes $600 and the other makes $400, the parent that makes $600 pays 60 percent of the amount and the other parent pays 40 percent of the amount (600 divided by 1,000 and 400 divided by 1,000, respectively).
Large Monthly Incomes
In some cases, the combined monthly income of both parties is greater than $10,000, which is the last income category on the chart. In this case, the child support obligation is the minimum amount of support provided by the guidelines chart plus an additional percentage.
As of 2011, if you have one child, and your combined income is over $10,000 per month, the amount is $1,437 times 5 percent of the income. For two children, it is $2,228 plus 7.5 percent. For three children, it is $2,795 plus 9.5 percent. For four children, it is $3,148 plus 11 percent. For five children, it is $3,432 plus 12 percent of the income, and for six children, it is $3,666 plus 12.5 percent of the income.
For example, if your combined income is $15,000 per month, and you both make $7,500 per month, and you have two children, you would multiply 15,000 by 7.5 percent for $1,125, then add the amount from the chart for two children at $10,000 -- $2,228 – to $1,125 for combined child support of $3,353. Since each parent makes an equal amount, you would divide $3,353 by 50 percent to get each party’s obligation, which is $1,676.50.
Health Insurance and Child Care
The child support guidelines also provide for health insurance, uncovered medical and child care. These amounts are added into the guidelines after you figure the base amount, then are multiplied by the percentage each parent pays – in our example, 50 percent. You wuold add the result to the base amount for the total child support that is paid to the parent with primary custody.
There technically is no maximum child support in Florida, as it is based on both parents’ incomes and the number of children. The chart allows for the average cost of raising a child over a month’s time. Child care includes housing, food, clothing, activities, medical and day care costs.