Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 15 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:

  1. Each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Other Child Support Items

  1. Private School
    1. A parent cannot be required to contribute to a child’s private schooling expenses unless the trial court makes three factual findings: (1) the parties have the ability to pay such expense, (2) the expense is in accordance with the customary standard of living of the parties, and (3) attendance at private school is in the child’s best interest. Bell v. Bell, 811 So.2d 833 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2002). Additionally, 4) a child has a special need that cannot be met by public school. Cleary v. Cleary, 872 So.2d 299 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2004).
  2. Life Insurance
    1. 61.13(1)(c), Fla. Stat. provides that the court may order the parent paying support to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy, or bond, or to otherwise secure the award with any other assets suitable for that purpose. The trial court is required to make findings as to the necessity of life insurance, and the cost. Winney v. Winney, 979 So.2d 396 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008).
    2. The amount of insurance required has to have a reasonable relationship to the amount to be paid in child support. Brennan v. Brennan, 122 So.3d 923 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).
    3. The Parenting Plan should include provisions requiring periodic proof of the policy, at least annually or upon any change in the insurer.
  3. Travel Expenses
    1. Travel expenses for timesharing are child-rearing expenses like any other pursuant to the child support guidelines established by statute and should be shared between the parents in accordance with their financial means. Hindle v. Fuith, 33 So.3d 782 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010).
  4. Automobile Expenses
  5. Extraordinary Child Expenses
    1. The pro rata division of these expenses are not required by statute, but are enforceable if part of a marital agreement. Cole v. Cole, 95 So.3d 369 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2012).
  6. Prepaid College Plans
    1. The courts clearly have no authority to require parents to contribute to the cost of college. Such requirement would amount to requiring child support for an adult. Leaird v. Leaird, 540 So.2d 243 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989).
    2. However, where the parties entered into a legal obligation to advance fund their children’s college tuition through the Florida Prepaid College Tuition program, years before the dissolution, then the contract can be treated as any other liability of the parties and distributed accordingly, including the requirement to continue with the contract funding. Walton v. Walton, 657 So.2d 1214 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995).
    3. enforcing an obligation for prepaid tuition by contempt, as it was part of the child support provisions of the MSA. Zern v. Zern, 737 So.2d 631 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999),
  7. Braces
    1. If they are required to fix a functioning problem with the jaw, teeth, or mouth, and an expert verifies they are medically necessary, then they are governed by the requirement that each parent pay his/her percentage of medical and dental expenses. Braces aimed at improving aesthetics alone will not meet this test.

For more information, please contact us to schedule your consultation.

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