Child Support Guidelines §61.29, Fla. Stat. Part 8 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.

11. Spousal Support from a Previous Marriage or ordered in the marriage before the

court, § 61.30(2)(a)9, Fla. Stat.

  • When adding alimony to the Wife’s income for purposes of computing child support, § 61.30(3)(a), Fla. Stat., the alimony should be calculated to reflect the net amount less federal income taxes paid on the alimony award. Martinez v. Martinez, 911 So.2d 288 (Fla. 2ndDCA 2005).

A court must first set the amount of alimony to be awarded before the award of child support can be made. Pike v. Pike, 932 So.2d 229 (Fla. 4thDCA  2005).

12. Interest and Dividends 

  • For purposes of computing a parent’s share of the child support guidelines, the amount of money that the parent can be expected to earn from assets awarded to him or her incident to equitable distribution should be included. 61.30(2), (3), (10), (12) and (14), and Cummings v. Cummings, 706 So.2d 81 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998).
  • Any marital asset distributed to a party requires the court to consider the income incident to the award of such asset. For example, the court erred in not including the wife’s dividend and interest income on a brokerage account received by her through a post-nuptial agreement so that this income could be included in the child support guidelines worksheet computation. Rotolante v. Rotolante, 22 So.3d 684 (Fla. 5th DCA  2009).

13. Rental Income 

  • gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income, 61.30(2)(a)11, Fla. Stat. See Fischer v. Fischer, 55 So.3d 725 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011).

14. Income from Royalties, Trusts, Estates 61.30(2)(a)12, Fla. Stat.

  • The Court must first find that the needs of the child(ren) cannot be or are not met from recurring income prior to including distributions from the corpus of the trust as income for calculation of child support. Sotoloff v. Sotoloff, 745 So.2d 959 (Fla. 4th DCA  1998).
  • If a parent elects not to take all income to which he or she is entitled under a trust, that income will be imputed to the trust beneficiary for purposes of calculating a child support obligation. Oxley v. Oxley, 695 So.2d 364 (Fla. 4th DCA  1997).

15. Reimbursed Expenses or in-kind payments (to the extent that they reduce living expenses). 61.30(2)(a)13, Fla. Stat.

  • Reimbursement to an employee for non-recurring expenses, such as a one-time relocation expense, is not income for calculation of child support.
  • Income was attributed to the mother for purposes of child support based upon monthly payments for her living expenses by the Wife’s mother. Cooper v. Kahn, 696 So.2d 1186 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1997). Similarly, in Garcia v. Garcia, 560 So.2d 403 (Fla. 3rd DCA  1990), the value of free housing provided by the Husband’s father to the Wife and children was included in the Wife’s income.
  • The Second District has determined that an award of exclusive use of the marital home to the wife is an in-kind expense which reduces living expenses. Where the home is jointly owned, and the parties are required to jointly contribute to the carry costs as co-owners, the parent in possession is receiving a financial benefit in the form of unpaid reasonable rental value.    Thus, one-half of the reasonable rental value should be included in the parent in possession’s income for child support purposes.    Thomas v. Thomas, 712 So.2d 822 (Fla. 2ndDCA 1998), Mitchell v. Mitchell, 841 So.2d 564 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2003).
  1.  Gains Derived from Dealing in Property unless non-recurring, § 61.30(2)(a)14

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