Under Florida law, a court can order either parent to pay child support to the other parent or both parents to pay child support to a third party having custody of the child. In most instances, payments are made until the child turns 18 years old. Courts may also require parents to provide health insurance for the child.
In calculating child support payments, Florida uses an income sharing model that takes into account the amount that each parent would have contributed to the needs of the child if the parents were living together. To calculate an equivalent percentage amount, the court divides each parent's income by the total of both incomes. Courts may order that payments be guaranteed by a life insurance policy or bond. Both parents are required to submit information to the courts pertaining to their income and other financial assets as well as items that can be deducted.
Courts may also take into account the amount of time that a child is in the custody of one parent. The premise here is that if a child spends the majority of their time with only one parent, that parent is paying for most of the child's support and living expenses. Because of this, courts often require a larger payment from non-custodial parents in an effort to make the arrangement more equitable.
Changing circumstances may make it necessary to petition the court for a child support modification, especially if the parent paying child support loses their job or receives a reduction in salary. In such cases, a non-custodial parent may want to discuss their situation with an attorney who has experience in family law to find out how to go about filing for a child support modification.
Source: Online Sunshine, "The 2014 Florida Statutes", August 20, 2014