Does My Parenting Time Affect My Child Support Payment?
When a couple who share children separate, whether they divorce or never married, child support is likely to become an issue. Both parents are required to financially support their children under Florida law. The amount of parenting time, however, that the noncustodial parent exercises does directly affect his or her child support obligation, at least to some degree.
Calculating Child Support Under Florida Law: The Basics
A variety of factors can affect the amount of a child support obligation under Florida law, including the parents’ respective incomes and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. It is necessary to use a child support guideline worksheet in order to properly calculate child support. The parents’ incomes are inserted into the worksheet in order to estimate the amount of money that would have been spent by the couple to support the child had they never divorced or separated. The monthly child support that results is then divided between the two parents according to their incomes. Therefore, if you earn substantially more than your child’s other parent, you can expect to pay a higher amount of child support.
How Overnight Parenting Time Impact Child Support Obligations
In order to affect your child support obligation, you must exercise overnight visitation at least 20 percent of the total number of overnights in a year. This amounts to about 73 overnights per year. It is not sufficient to simply have visitation for a certain number of hours per day. It must be an overnight visit in order to count toward the number of overnight visitations required to influence the child support amount.
While spending at least 20 percent of overnights with your child each year, you not only pay less in child support, but you will have more quality time with your child. However, in many situations, this arrangement is not possible. You may not have sufficient room in your current living situation to house your children overnight. Alternately, your work schedule may not allow for this type of parenting arrangement. This is an important issue that you should discuss with your Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney as you go through the process of establishing a child support order.
Other Factors that Affect Your Child Support Obligation
The amount of overnight visitation that you have is only one of many factors that will affect your ultimate child support obligation. Even if parents share approximately equal incomes and overnights, there are other child-related expenses, such as health insurance premiums, child care costs, and uninsured medical, dental, vision, and orthodontic expenses. Whether you and your ex have other children to support also has an impact on your child support obligation.
Consult a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
Child support calculations can be complex, and involve a variety of different factors, including overnight parenting time. Contact Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, today, and set up an appointment with an experienced Florida divorce lawyer, who can give you the guidance that you need in your case.