Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 12 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.
2. Child Care Costs
a. Child care costs incurred due to employment, job search, or education calculated to result in employment or to enhance income of current employment of either parent shall be added to the basic obligation. Child care costs may not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source. § 61.30(7), Fla. Stat.
b. Even if the child is being cared for by a family member, the trial court may make necessary findings of fact that support such an award. Waters v. Bland, 935 So. 2d 1239 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2006).
c. Child care expenses have to be actually incurred before they can be added to the child support obligation. LaFountain v. LaFountain, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D319a, (Fla 2nd DCA 2014).
3. Health Insurance and Uncovered Health Costs
a. Each order for support shall contain a provision for health insurance for the minor child when health insurance is reasonable in cost and accessible to the child. §61.13(1)(b), Fla. Stat.; §61.30(8), Fla. Stat.
b. The court shall further apportion the cost of health insurance and any non-covered medical, dental, and prescription medication by adding the cost to the basic obligation, or by requiring payment on a percentage basis. §61.13(1)(b), Fla. Stat. and §61.30(8), Fla. Stat.
The trial court must allocate uncovered medical expenses in the same percentage as the child support unless the final judgment contains a logical rationale to the contrary. Ayra v. Ayra, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2059 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2014)
c. Counselling expenses: Trial court has discretion to require parent to pay share of counselling expenses but must be evidence of the cost of counselling. Vazquez v. Vazquez, 150 So.3d 855 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2014).
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