Florida Child Support: Child support laws are not as complicated as people make them out to be. Whether you are going through a divorce, breaking up with your partner, or are just trying to enforce an existing child support order in Florida, there are court forms and procedures in place to assist you as a Pro Se litigant.
We have put together all the information our customers have asked for in this child support section, including the most important forms with filing instructions and procedures in Florida.
This page is our guide for finding general information about Florida Child Support and Child Support Forms in Florida.
For a more detailed look at all Florida court approved forms relating to Child Support, have a look at our Florida Child Support Forms page (see below).
Also included on this page is information and resources, child support calculators, guidelines, forms and instructions, child support laws, and how to change an existing support order.
There's information about filing for an income deduction order, establishing child support for unwed parents, Florida's new disestablishment of child support procedure, several child support question and answer (FAQ) pages, and other child support forms including the court procedures on how to file and follow up with the Department of Revenue, and much, much more.
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Florida'a Child Support Guidelines exist to provide some uniformity state-wide when child support is determined by a court, and as a guide for out of court child support agreements by consenting parents.
Florida child support guidelines also provides that child support should continue until the age of 18 or beyond the age of 18 if...
...dependency is because of a mental or physical incapacity which began prior to such person reaching majority or if the person is dependent in fact, is between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high school, performing in good faith with a reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of 19.
In other words, child support should continue if the child is dependent for support and they are already 18 years old but they have not yet graduated high school. At age nineteen, child support is not obligatory unless the child is physically or mentally handicapped. Florida Child Support Guidelines is covered under Florida Statutes Chapter 61.30.
When unmarried parents are involved, it is essential that paternity is established before child support can be ordered and enforced. There are several ways that paternity can be legally established. The voluntary signing of the child's birth certificate at the hospital is the most common way for the legal establishment of paternity in Florida.
Another way to establish paternity is to have the court order scientific paternity testing. This procedure is handled through the Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief (see below).
Once Paternity is established (through scientific paternity testing if necessary) then the "Other Relief" part of this petition can include the establishment of child support as well as time sharing and parental responsibility.Have a look at our Florida Petition to Determine Paternity & Other Relief web-powered instructions page. Our Web-Powered instruction pages are very popular with Pro Se filers mostly because of the hyperlinks to the supporting forms and to the applicable Florida statutes. They make it so much easier for you to prepare your forms on your own. Web-Powered Instructions
Child support is generally calculated by several factors; the most important of which includes the incomes of both parents, the number of children, the time-sharing percentage and the Florida child support guidelines.
Other factors, such as costs for medication, extra-curricular activities, child care, special needs, medical devices, educational expenses, health insurance, costs of living and transportation, and costs of visitation can all be considered when child support is sought and awarded.
A court can reduce, increase, suspend, or stop your child support payments if there has been a "substantial change" in your circumstances after the court ordered you to pay.
A substantial change in circumstances is anything affecting your income or the child's need to receive child support. For example, if you lose your job; your employer cuts your salary; you have a dramatic increase in expenses; a prolonged illness; the children become adults (emancipated); the time-sharing or custody arrangement has changed, etc.
One or more of these kind of events may be considered as a "substantial change" of circumstances that can qualify for a change in child support.Modifying an existing Child Support order is generally done by using a Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support, Form 12.905(b). We also have a comprehensive self help guide covering child support modifications. Learn more about our Self Help Guide for Modification of Child Support in Florida.
Child support can be enforced using an Income Deduction Order. If a noncustodial parent is working, the law requires that the employer deduct support payments from the parent’s paycheck.
The income deduction order follows the noncustodial parent to each job in any state. It is the noncustodial parent’s responsibility to inform the Child Support Enforcement Program and the court each time he or she changes jobs.
The Department of Revenue is the state agency responsible for Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Program. The DOR can locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, get support orders andenforce support orders.Have a look at our Florida Income Deduction Order FAQ Page for more information and answers to frequently asked questions about Income Deduction Orders and collecting child support in Florida. Income Deduction Order FAQs
Florida Statute 742.18, Disestablishment of Paternity or Termination of Child Support Obligation handles the unfortunate scenario where paternity was wrongly established. Some of the circumstances where a wrongly accused father can petition the court to disestablish (stop or reverse) paternity include:
• Newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to the petitioner’s knowledge since the initial paternity determination or establishment of child support obligation.
• The alleged father must also present scientific evidence that disputes his paternity; or if he has no access to the child for a scientific test of the child; then he must request the court to order a scientific test of the child.
• He must be current on his child support payments. And he must not have signed an acknowledgment of paternity after he discovered he was not the father; he must not have married the mother; he must not have adopted the child.
• The child may not have been conceived by artificial insemination while the alleged father was married to the mother; the child is younger than eighteen.Have a look at our Florida Disestablishment of Paternity Page for more information about disestablishment of paternity in Florida.
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The Modifying Child Support in Florida guide helps you navigate the court process and procedures with complete step by step instructions for filling out and filing the Florida court approved forms.
The guide helps you navigate the court process and court procedures once you file with easy to follow checklists, links to websites, important addresses & phone numbers, and much more. Available as an e-book download. ($14.95)
Fully Interactive & Complete Forms Packet for Request to Terminate Child Support or Alimony.
All forms are interactive and properly formatted in PDF and includes resources and filing procedures.
Form 12.905(a) Supplemental Petition to Modify Parental Responsibility, Visitation or Parenting Plan/Time-Sharing Schedule and Other Relief. DEC 2010 ($2.95) Buy Now
Form 12.905(b) Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support. DEC 2010 ($2.95) Buy Now
Form 12.983(a) Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief. OCT 2011 ($4.95) Buy Now
Form 12.995(a) Parenting Plan. OCT 2011 ($4.95) Buy Now
Form 12.995(b) Supervised Safety Focused Parenting Plan. OCT 2011 ($4.95) Buy Now
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Florida State Courts Family Law Forms and Petitions.
Florida Statutes 61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court.
Florida Statutes 61.30 Child support guidelines; retroactive child support.
Florida Statutes 743.07 Rights, privileges, and obligations of persons 18 years of age or older.