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Baginski Brandt & Brandt Port St. Lucie Criminal & Family Attorneys
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Port St. Lucie Child Support Attorney

Every state has its own guidelines for determining how much child support should be paid out. These guidelines will be different from state to state, but in general, they are based on the income of the parents, the expenses, and what the children need. Some states allow the judge to have more leeway in figuring out what the amount of the child support should be. However, in other states, that amount cannot vary too greatly from the guidelines. Any amount must be justified because it can easily be appealed or overturned. In the state of Florida, if the amount deviates from the guidelines by more than five percent in either direction, proper justification must be provided. Although there is a mathematical formula that includes income and time-sharing schedule in determining child support, a Port St. Lucie child support attorney must explore for hidden income and other factors that can raise or reduce child support.

What Determines How Much Child Support Is Owed?

  1. The presence of any uncommon expenses in the children’s education, medical, dental, or psychological needs
  2. If the child receives income from any other source independently, not including supplemental security income
  3. If there is a spousal payment (Alimony).
  4. If the income and expenses of either or both parents are seasonal and fluctuate throughout the years. For some occupations, income is not steady. There can more during one year but less in another.
  5. How to hold the child is, and the need for daycare.
  6. How much do the parents spend on health insurance for themselves and for the child?
  7. Are there mandatory deductions, such as retirement or union dues from the parent’s income.
  8. Does the child have special needs that incur an extra cost that needs to be continually supported, even though covering this expense will exceed the amount proposed by the guidelines? Special needs include any disabilities that the child suffers from and which requires additional support.

Assets & Child Support

  1. What assets are available to the child
  2. How that impacts the IRS exemption for dependents. If the parent who is not the child’ custodian continues to pay support, the judge may order the rotation of the IRS dependency exemption.
  3. How much time will the child spend with each parent? The number of overnight stays of the child is directly entered into the formula to calculate child support.
  4. If a parent has an asset that is used as income, even if such asset is not liquid, it may be used in calculating child support.
  5. Any support received by the parent may be examined for its potential as income used in calculating child support.
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