Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 10 of 18| Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Cape Coral
- 61.29, Fla. Stat., provides for child support guidelines principles. These principles do not affect the actual computation of the child support itself, but provide the following:
- Each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.
- The guideline schedule is based on the parents’ combined net incomes estimated to have been allocated to the child as if parents and children were living in an intact household.
- The guidelines encourage fair and efficient settlement of support issues between parents and minimize the need for litigation.
Below please find some general information regarding child support and how it is calculated.
- If the recurring income of a parent is not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, the court may order child support to be paid from non-recurring income or assets. § 61.30(13), Fla. Stat.
- Nonrecurring income can be considered only if recurring income is insufficient to meet the needs of the child. Vollmer v. Vollmer, 33 So.3d 67 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2010).
- Mandatory Retirement
- The statute provides no definition of “mandatory retirement payments.” In order for mandatory retirement contributions to be a deduction from income for purposes of computation of child support, the contributions must not be voluntarily assumed. Additionally, non-participation must endanger or place in jeopardy the employment. Baker v. Ashton, 617 So.2d 822 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993).
- Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid (this means support for earlier born children, or those with support obligations in place prior to the support order in question.) See § 61.30(12), Fla. Stat.
- If the parent with the support obligation has other children residing with him/her and is supporting those children in kind, then there is no entitlement to a deduction from gross income for support. § 61.30(3)(f), Fla. Stat. However, the court may allow an adjustment and deviation in order to achieve an equitable result, § 61.30(11)(a)(11). Also see Needham v. Needham, 39 So.3d 1289 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2010), where the trial court was reversed for not considering the payor parent’s support of another child living with and supported only by that parent.
- Child support has to actually be paid in order to get the deduction. Dep’t of Revenue v. S.J.W., 113 So.3d 85 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013)
- Spousal support from previous marriage or marriage before court.
- Miscellaneous- Only those allowable deductions from gross income enumerated in § 61.30(3), Fla. Stat. are permitted, and deductions from gross income exceeding those allowed by statute are impermissible. A deduction from gross income for money tithes to a church is inappropriate. Copeland v. Copeland, 667 So.2d 487 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996).
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