Do You Pay Child Support When You Have Joint Custody?

Child support ensures children receive the financial assistance they need to thrive. This financial support helps cover the costs of food, clothing, childcare, education, healthcare, and other expenses associated with raising a child. Child support payments are necessary in most divorce cases—even when children split time evenly between both parents. Who’s responsible for paying child support depends on several factors, such as income and the time your children spend with you. Contact the Remsen Family Law Firm to help you navigate the complexities of child custody and child support in divorce proceedings.

Who Receives Child Support Payments 

Typically, the parent who spends more time with their children is entitled to child support payments. If parents split their time evenly with their children (the arrangement Florida courts favor), the higher-earning spouse usually pays the lesser-earning spouse child support. 

How are Child Support Payments Determined? 

There are a variety of factors that determine child support payments. The two most influential factors are you and your ex’s combined net income and the number of children under 18 in your home. Income is considered wages, salaries, bonuses, disability payments, unemployment benefits, self-employment income, and social security payments. The child’s age, health, and standard of living are also considered. Child support must be paid until a child turns 18. Payments could be extended if the child turns 18 before graduating high school or if the child has special needs. 

How to Calculate Child Support Payments 

Florida follows Child Support Guidelines stated in Florida Statute 61.30(6)to determine the minimum amount of child support payment needed. For instance, parents with combined net earnings of $6,000 per month will have a minimum monthly payment of $1,121 for one child, $1,737 for two children, and $2,175 for three children. The amount each parent pays is determined by the custody arrangement and predetermined financial commitments that benefit the child.

Awarding Child Support

Child support payments cannot be waived and are a necessary part of any divorce involving children under 18. Both parents must complete income verification documents and attend a hearing to determine the final payment during divorce proceedings. At the hearing, a judge will decide the payment amount and who will pay it. 

Modifying Child Support 

To be eligible for a temporary or permanent modification, the current support order can’t expire in the next six months or have been reviewed or altered in the last three years (unless you can prove a substantial change to your income within that time frame). When requesting a modification, the new payment must change by at least $50 or 15%, whichever is greater. The steps to modify a child support order resemble the process of your initial payment request. You’ll file a petition for modification, serve the other parent with the new payment information, wait 20 days for a response, submit income verification documents, schedule a hearing, and final judgment. 

 Child Custody Agreements with Remsen Family Law Firm

The Remsen Family Law Firm can assist you if you’re going through a divorce and need help requesting child support payments or filing the proper paperwork. We have offices in Lake and Seminole counties and serve residents in Clermont, Tavares, and Lake Mary. Call us today at 352-309-0970 for a low-cost consultation to discuss your case.