How Does Alimony Affect Child Support?
Going through a dissolution of marriage (divorce) in Florida when there are minor children, that is children under the age of l8 or who cannot take care of themselves, requires the awarding of child support. To calculate which parent will be the receiver and which parent the giver, and how much monthly payment will be ordered, Florida Family Law has developed a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Such factors as income, health insurance costs, mandatory expenses (example special dietary food requirement), and special expenses such as the cost of travel to and from work will be taken into account. You can find this worksheet on-line by entering the search words Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Courts. Additionally, if a marital agreement is not reached at mediation (required by most Florida jurisdictions prior to setting a court date) a judge will consider individual considerations. The final award will be determined by a computer program with input from attorneys and the judge. All minor children in Florida are entitled to child support.
Alimony, the awarding of an amount of money from one spouse to the other comes in five post divorce forms in the state of Florida. All forms, permanent, bridge-the-gap, durational, lump sum, and rehabilitative will influence the amount of child support given and received. This happens as alimony is considered increased income for the person receiving the alimony payment and decreased income for the person giving the alimony. So, when computing income for child support, the amount of alimony received or given must be factored in. For many years it was usually the father who paid the alimony and child support to the mother but this is no longer true. Since many women now have higher incomes than their husbands and the Florida courts require shared parenting, women frequently are the givers of alimony and child support.
If you are planning a dissolution of marriage and there are minor children involved it is most important to seek out a Family Law attorney with several years of experience in handling cases involving alimony and child support. There are so many angles to be considered if the best outcomes are to be realized. As an example of how important it is to have a competent Family Law attorney, if there are extenuating circumstances which will alter the amount of child support arrived at when completing the child support guidelines worksheet and either parent wishes the court to consider a different amount than the guidelines determine, a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines, Supreme Court Approved Family Court Law Form 12.943 must be filed. Failing to file this motion could mean a substantial loss to the needful parent.