November 21, 2021

Florida Child Support: Rules and Regulations Surrounding It

Every responsible parent should want the best for their child, including taking care of them and providing for their needs. Child support in Florida is mandatory until a child’s 18th birthday, but parents can always choose to keep supporting their child even after that period. Some do this, especially if the child hasn’t graduated from high school yet or has a disability.

Florida lawmakers updated legal terms so that both parents can feel equal importance in their child’s life. If both parents have agreed before filing for divorce, they’re required to follow a parenting plan called parental time-sharing. This parenting plan establishes that both parents have equal responsibilities towards caring for their child’s well-being. Many parents agree on a schedule with the help of a family lawyer.

If you’re trying to negotiate terms with your child’s other parent, here are additional guidelines regarding Florida’s rules on child support: 

Paying Child Support

When you’re paying child support, a judge could order retroactive child support, which means you’re required to pay from the time of your divorce until the judge issues the support order. However, keep in mind that Florida’s laws dictate that retroactive child support cannot exceed 24 months. Past due support is a term used when a parent fails to pay child support on time.

If the parent of a child fails to obey the law, the Department of Revenue eventually steps in because they’re responsible for enforcing Florida’s child support program. Officials can send late notices, and if there is still no action taken, they can send income withholding notices to employers or the parent’s other payers of income. 

If these measures aren’t working, the DOR can send a driver’s license suspension notice and an invitation for the parent to work with them to get the child support paid. If all else fails, authorities will have to file a legal action in circuit court to enforce rules.

Determining Income

Child support in Florida is primarily determined by the income of the father and mother. The state also considers the days a child spends with their parent. They also consider child care, health expenses, and any deductions or exclusions. However, whatever total amount comes from these calculations isn’t set in stone. Changes in your work life, health, or family situation can affect the result.

When you’re filing for child support, it’s helpful to know an estimate of your income because it’ll give you an idea of how much the court will require you to pay. According to Florida laws, your income is any form of legal payment. These include bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime pay, or tips.

The court could also consider other legal payments like your business incomes, disability benefits, independent contractor compensation, payments from federal or local governments, or pensions. Your retirement and annuity payments are also considered income, as well as any rental income, royalties, trusts, estates, Social Security benefits, and spousal support you might have.


Child support is your child’s legal right, and both parents are mandated by Florida laws to have equal contributions to their child’s upbringing. If you and your ex-spouse have come to an agreement before filing a case, it’ll be easier for your family lawyers to compose a parenting plan that is fair for both of you.

Dorsey Law JAX has the best family attorneys in Jacksonville, FL. We also specialize in criminal law and personal injury. If you need help determining the terms and conditions of child support, get in touch with us today.


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