Exactly How Supportive Does A Person Have To Be? The Rules For Child Support And Spousal Support In Florida

Posted on: 6 April 2016

If you are currently embroiled in a divorce -- or you'll be facing one in the near future -- the question of support may be one of your biggest concerns. Whether you're the person who will have to pay spousal or child support or you're the one who will receive the money, support is often a central point of disagreement in divorce cases. The state of Florida has established very specific guidelines regarding both spousal and child support during a divorce. Read on to find out exactly how support is determined in Florida divorces today. 

Spousal Support in Florida

The state of Florida has very specific guidelines when it comes to spousal support. The state laws indicate that spousal support should only be awarded in situations where it is truly needed. To demonstrate genuine need for spousal support, the spouse requesting the support must generally do the following.

  • Prove exact level of current income as an individual
  • Prove that the other spouse has income sufficient to provide the spousal support
  • Prove that the current individual income would not allow them to live their already-established lifestyle 
  • Prove that they can't earn a living due to lack of education, lack of skills, poor health, or other reasons

In some cases, the judge may also take the length of the marriage into consideration when determining spousal support. Generally, longer marriages are more likely to result in spousal support as long as the other qualifications are met.

Child Support in Florida

Child support is closely tied to child custody. Some parents come to a custody agreement on their own while others must have a judge determine where the child should live based upon the child's best interests. In the majority of cases, parents who seek child support are those who have primary physical custody of the child. The state of Florida has a standard needs table that the judge will use to determine the proper amount of child support for the non-custodial parent to pay once custody has been determined.

The child support amount can vary quite widely according to factors including: 

  • Age of the child
  • Income of both parents
  • Health of the child (and associated medical costs)
  • Child care costs

The amount of support -- whether spousal, child, or both -- that must be paid in a divorce will vary widely with each case. If you're dealing with divorce and need help navigating the often-complicated rules of support, speak to a local Florida family law attorney for a consultation today!

For a family law attorney, contact a lawyer such as Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law