Child Support Guidelines and Calculations

Learn the basics of child support guidelines and calculations, including how they are determined and enforced.

This article covers child support guidelines and calculations basics.

Child Support Calculation Basics:

The Child Welfare Information Gateway states each state sets child support guidelines. They base this on the parents’ income, the number of children, and children’s special needs.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services explains guidelines based on income shares or percentage of income models. The income shares model factors in each parent’s income contribution, and the percentage of income model applies a fixed percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income.

The National Conference of State Legislatures explains these guidelines ensure children’s financial support from both parents. State child support enforcement agencies enforce guidelines with actions like income withholding and tax refund interception.

Child Support in Florida:

Child support guidelines are established by Florida law and are used to determine the appropriate amount of child support to be paid by the noncustodial parent. Florida’s child support guidelines factor in parents’ income, number of children, and special needs, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

The guidelines consider both parents’ income and the number of children. The guidelines also take into account the special needs of the children. Florida Child Support Program uses the income shares model for their child support guidelines. It assesses each parent’s income contribution.

Adjustments to child support may occur due to factors like a child’s healthcare costs or parents’ timesharing arrangements.

The Florida Department of Revenue enforces child support orders in the state. They have the power to implement enforcement actions such as wage garnishment. They can also intercept tax refunds and suspend driver’s licenses for child support nonpayment.


Understanding child support guidelines helps parents ensure their children’s financial needs. Knowledge of the enforcement process can secure a child’s financial future.

The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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