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Child support in Florida is governed by statute.  In a proceeding for a dissolution of marriage, or paternity matter, the court may at any time order either or both of the parents, who owe a duty of support to a child, to pay support in accordance with the child support guidelines.  Effective October 1st, 2010 changes to Fla Stat Section 61.13(1)(a) provide that child support may be paid to a third party.  Further changes provide that all child support orders entered on or after October 1, 2010, must provide: (a) for child support to terminate on a child's 18th birthday unless the court finds or previously found that Florida Statute Section 743.07(2) applies, or the parties agree otherwise; and (b) a schedule, based on the record existing at the time of the order, stating the amount of the monthly child support obligation for all the minor children at the time of the order and the amount of child support that will be owed for any remaining children after one or more of the children are no longer entitled to receive child support; and (c) the month, day and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.  Florida statute 743.07(2) states that a court is not prohibited from awarding support for a dependent person beyond the age of 18 when dependency is because of a mental or physical incapacity that began prior to such person reaching majority or if the person is dependent in fact, between the ages of 18 and 19, and still in high school, performing in good faith with a reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of 19.  

Pinellas County Child Support Attorney

How is child support determined?

Florida Child Support Laws

Two factors are used to determine the amount of child support: (1) the needs of the child, and (2) the financial ability of each parent to meet those needs. Florida has established a formula to be used in calculating the needs of the child and each parent's ability to meet those needs. The following steps are used in determining the proper amount of child support:

​- You and the other parent each provide proof of your gross incomes.

- Taxes and certain other deductions are allowed to determine each of your net incomes

- Your net incomes are added together to arrive at your combined income. 

- The combined income and number of children you have are used to establish 
  the children's needs. This is done by reading a chart (Child support guidelines