Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 16 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.
- 61.30(17), Fla. Stat. provides that the court has the discretion to award child support retroactive to the date when the parents did not reside together in the same household, but not to exceed 24 months preceding the filing of the petition. The court is to consider the following:
- The guideline schedule in effect at the time of the hearing shall control, unless the obligor demonstrates that the actual income during the retroactive period was less.
- All actual payments made for the benefit of the child during the retroactive period. It is fundamental error not to include child support payments made during the retroactive time period. Gillislee v. Florida Dep’t of Revenue OBO Hamilton, 150 So.3d 294 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014).
- Installment payment plans for the arrearage are to be considered.
- While an award of retroactive child support is discretionary, the court typically abuses that discretion when it fails to award retroactive support from the petition date, if there is a need for the support and the parent’s ability to pay. Martinez v. Martinez, 911 So.2d 288 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2005).
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