It is the most unfortunate case when a parent doesn’t financially support their child. The reasons people give are numerous. The excuses I hear are: “the other parent spends it on themselves”, “I don’t get to see my child” and, “we agreed that there would be no child support”. Whatever the reason a parent might give, it is no excuse not to pay child support and from a legal prospective these excuses don’t work either. A parent has the moral and legal obligation to support their child financially.

I am not getting any child support from my ex, what can I do?
If you are unmarried and your child is living with you primarily, then you would need to initiate a paternity action. As part of the paternity action, you can request for your ex to pay child support. The child support would be paid in accordance with the child support guidelines (insert link to the child support page). The court would also establish a parenting plan and timesharing schedule as part of the case.

I have been separated from my ex for several years, can I get back child support from them?
Florida Statutes 61.30 gives a Court the discretion to award retroactive or back child support going back to the time of the parties’ separation. However, the period of back support cannot exceed 2 years prior the filing of the action.

Example: Mary and John have a child. They separated and ceased living together in January 2009. Mary files her child support action in January, 2014. Mary can seek child support back to January 2012.

I pay all of my child’s health insurance and all uncovered medical expenses, can I get my ex to contribute to this as well?
Yes, the cost that you pay for your child’s health insurance will be factored into the child support calculation. As for the uncovered medical expenses, yes, the court will require both parties to contribute to the costs of those according to a percentage ordered by the Court.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Child Support

  • My spouse works overtime frequently, does the Court consider this overtime in determining child support?

    If the overtime is regular, continuous and likely to occur in the future, then yes, it is included in determining the amount of child support.

  • I don’t trust that my spouse is going to pay the child support , can it be taken from his paycheck?

    Yes, if you request it, the Judge will sign an Income Withholding Order which will be sent to the employer who then will garnish the wages for the child support.

  • My parents and friends often give me money, does the money that I receive count when determining child support?

    Generally no, the money you receive from third persons is not included in the child support calculation. However, there are cases that provide that regularly occurring gifts which are likely to continue in the future are counted as income for purpose of child support.

  • My employer provides me with a free company car that I used all the time. How does this impact the child support?

    The value of the personal use of the company car is included as income for purposes of child support.

  • I pay child support for children of a prior relationship, how does this affect the child support I will pay in my current divorce?

    If the child support you pay for the children of a prior relationship is actually paid, then this amount will be deducted from your income in determining your child support in your current divorce.

  • I pay for my children’s health insurance, does this factor into the child support calculation?

    Yes, the amount one parent pays for the children’s health insurance is factored into the child support calculation.

  • My children attend day care, which I pay for, how does this affect the child support?

    If the children are attending day care because you are working, looking for work or going to school, then the amount that you pay for day care is factored into the child support calculation.

  • My children are involved in extracurricular activities such as dance and football. How does this impact the child support that my spouse pays?

    Generally, the cost of extracurricular activities is not included in the child support calculation. However, often times the parties will agree or the Court will order that the parties split the costs of extracurricular activities in addition to the child support that is paid.

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