Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 7 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.

  1. Disability Income/benefits
  2. Workers Compensation Benefits and Settlements
  3. Reemployment Assistance or Unemployment Compensation
  4. Pension, Retirement, of Annuity Payments
  5. Social Security Benefits
  • Social Security benefits received by a parent for a child’s disability are not included in the parent’s income for the calculation of child support. This income payable directly to the child is intended to provide additional support due to the child’s special needs, and it should not serve as a basis to reduce the parent’s obligation.    Sealander v. Sealander, 789 So.2d 401 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).
  • Social Security benefits received for a child as a result of a parent’s disability (known as child’s derivative benefit) should be included in the income of that parent when calculating the family’s gross income and then credited against the disabled parent’s support obligation. Wallace v. Dep’t of Revenue ex rel.  Cutter, 774 So.2d 804 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2000);
  • The same rational applies to SSI benefits paid to a child as a result of the parent’s retirement. The amount paid to the child as a result of the parent’s retirement is included in the parent’s income, and then credited back to that parent’s child support obligation. If the benefits paid to the child are less than the support obligation, then the retired parent pays the difference.  If the benefits paid are more than the obligation, then the excess inures to the benefit of the child.  Valladares v. Junco-Valladares, 30 So.3d 519 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2010)
  • Where a father was receiving veteran’s benefits for himself and an additional benefit for a minor child, both amounts were included in the father’s income for purposes of determining child support, in the same manner as consideration of social security disability benefits. Maslow v. Edwards, 59 So.3d 299 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011).
  • Veterans Administration disability benefits paid to one of the parents are not excepted from income for purposes of calculation of child support obligations. Fletcher v. Fletcher, 573 So.2d 941 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). Likewise, benefits from a  private  disability  insurance  policy  would  also  be  includable  as  income  for calculation of child support.

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

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