Guide to Florida Child Support
If you are liable for paying child support in the state of Florida, you may need more information on how your support payments will be calculated and how to pay. Parents who are owed child support may need information on how to collect FL child support from a spouse who will not pay. This guide can help with some of your Florida child support most frequently asked questions.
FL Child Support Formula
Florida residents who are paying child support will pay according to guidelines set by the state. While judges may adjust the amount of child support up or down by up to 5 percent at their own discretion, Florida child support laws require that judges provide written justification to vary more than 5 percent. Typically, you can expect for FL child support requirements to require you to pay your child's basic support costs plus 5 percent for one child, 7.5% for two children, 9.5% for three, 11% for four, 12% for five, and 12.5% for six. In many cases, this can be adjusted due to parental income or one parent's costs may change due to childcare obligations due to looking for work.
Florida Child Support and Tax Credits
Child support payments are not considered taxable income for the purposes of IRS forms. You will not need to mention any amount of child support paid when you fill out your 1040. There are no deductions available for child support payments, regardless of how much you paid or how much you made in income last year. In some situations, FL child support laws allow you to claim your child as a dependent even if you do not have physical custody. If you provide more than half of your child's support, you may claim the child as a dependent. However, check your divorce papers—Florida child support laws will uphold whatever is written in your divorce agreement about who can claim children as dependents for tax purposes.
How to Apply for FL Child Support
You may be able to apply for Florida child support enforcement if you are not being paid what you are owed. The FL child support Collection Unit enforces child support and makes deadbeat parents pay up. Once you have completed the application with as much information as you have, follow the directions to return the application to the Florida child support office nearest you.
FL child support only lasts until a child turns 18, unless the child is still in high school and will graduate prior to turning 19, in which case Florida child support obligations last until graduation. If your child has a physical or mental disability that will make them dependent past the age of 18, the court may order support to continue for longer. Courts also have discretion to continue support beyond the age of 18 in other special cases, but you may want to consult a child support lawyer if this is something you are considering, as it is rarely granted.