Both you and your ex are responsible for providing financial care for your children. As a result, the courts in Florida must determine how the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay to cover essential child care costs. TheBalance.com offers information on how child support is calculated so both you and your former spouse are able to remain informed of the process.

Formulas

Depending on where you live a different formula may be used to calculate the child support amount. While the actual details can vary, formulas typically involve two things; the income of the non-custodial parent and the combined income of both parents. Formulas can also be tweaked depending on the circumstances. For instance, support may be reduced if the non-custodial parent has a new child or if custody arrangements are altered. Conversely, support amounts can be increased if the child has serious medical condition and is in need of healthcare.

Income

It’s also important to know the definition of income. Both net and gross income can be used to determine the amount, with gross income the amount a person earns before taxes. Parents may also have other sources of income, and these can be used to determine the appropriate amount of support. Different types of income can include earnings from stock investments, benefits from work, and even lottery winnings.

Lump Sum vs. Per Child

Payments can also be made in lump sums or per child. With lump sum payments the non-custodial parent must continue paying the established amount until the youngest child reaches age 18. However, if payments are made per child, the amount can be subsequently reduced as each child ages out of support payments. If you have questions about how payments are calculated, be sure to speak with your legal team.