Though your marriage has dissolved, you and your ex are still responsible for raising your children. Often, it is in the children’s best interest to spend a substantial amount of time with each parent, and the state encourages you and your ex to share all aspects of raising your children.
If you and your ex opt for — or the court orders — joint custody, your children will generally spend equal time with each parent. When you split time, are you still required to pay child support? Most of the time, one parent will pay child support even in a joint custody arrangement.
How Florida determines child support
How much time each of you spends with the children is just one factor in determining child support. The other consideration is the financial resources each parent can contribute to meeting the child’s needs. If you have more financial assets than your ex, you will likely have child support payments, and vice versa.
How the court calculates payments
When the court calculates child support, the first step is to estimate how much it would cost to raise the children if you remained married. Expenses include:
- Food and shelter
- Health insurance
The court then considers expenses one parent covers that the other does not. When the parents share custody, the court assumes the parents split their children’s living expenses. The court determines each parent’s responsibility based on costs as a proportion of total net income, leaving the parent with a higher total income to pay child support to the other.