Calculating Child Support

When parents can no longer live together, they must still support their children as if they do. Child support is something that the state uses to ensure that each parent is doing their part to provide the financial support the children need regardless of their personal relationship status. In Florida, for example, the state has created a means chart using their income to help parents get an idea of how much it costs to provide for their children. However, it is not the only factor a court may consider when handing down a child support order. Take a look at some of the other factors that go into calculating how much money goes towards the children after the parents split.

Calculating Child Support


The income of both parents sets the foundation for the general child support obligation under many states’ laws relevant to the number of children the parties have in common. Even though legal and physical custody may be split equally among the parents, one parent is always designated as the primary custodial parent. This is typically the parent whose address determines what school the children attend. Thus, any child support that may be due is generally due to the primary custodial parent.

Insurance and Daycare

Other factors come into play when calculating child support, aside from income. Depending on the age of the children, there may be a need for daycare to facilitate the parents’ need to work. The parent who pays child support is given credit for this amount when figuring out support. One parent usually carries medical insurance for the children. The parent who pays this is also given credit.

Number of Overnights

Finally, the number of nights the children spend with each parent is tallied up. The thought process behind this is simple — the parent with majority time will likely receive child support from the other since there are more expenses when the children are home. Even if the parents split the time equally, if one parent makes significantly more than the other, they may have to make child support payments.

Before you decide that the figure the state chart gives is too little to receive or too much to pay, you may want to consult with an attorney, like a divorce attorney from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. Since other factors impact the amount the court awards in child support, a lawyer can help you get a clearer picture of what your situation will end up being.