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Child Support 101

Posted on June 7, 2022

If you have children and are seeking a divorce, the likelihood is that you will either be paying or receiving child support. In fact, your child support plan must be approved by a Florida Family Court judge before your divorce decree can be finalized. In the majority of divorces of parents with minor children, one parent pays child support to the other, even if they have an equal time-sharing arrangement. Many people think of child support as the father paying support to the mother, but that is no longer the case today. Whoever is the higher earner pays child support, while the lower earner is the person who receives it.

Florida law defines child support as “a court-ordered obligation … for monetary support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child.[1]” This includes costs for groceries and other food, clothing, school tuition and other school-related expenses, after-school activities and hobbies, medical costs, and summer activities, such as camp or other enrichment lessons.

The amount of child support that someone pays is determined by the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The specific calculation for an individual family is based on the number of children involved as well as the income of each parent. For this reason, it’s possible that someone with one child could actually pay more child support than someone with multiple children.

There are two methods to pay the child support each month. The first option is for the child support payer to promptly write a check each month to the recipient. If both parties can responsibly manage this process on their own, this is the easiest approach and requires no attorneys or oversight from the state of Florida. However, if this approach does not work for the couple, the second option is for the payer’s employer to send the child support payment to the state of Florida, who will then pay the recipient. This approach has many administrative hassles and generally requires an attorney. Troy Legal’s attorneys are experienced in managing this process and can assist you if needed.

Child support continues until either a child’s 18th birthday or their high school graduation date, whichever comes second. An exception to this is if a child has special needs. In this case, the child support could extend through the child’s life. If multiple children are involved, each child will have a different child support end date listed in the child support plan based on the aforementioned criteria.  

The compassionate family law attorneys at Troy Legal are experts in negotiating fair and equitable child support plans, whether you are the payer or recipient. Additionally, if you already have a child support plan in place but your financial situation has changed, our experts will fight to adjust your support plan to reflect your new financial reality. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation.

Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., specializes in Marital and Family Law, providing reputable legal services for prenuptial and co-habitation agreements, paternity cases, adoption matters, alimony and child support, time sharing and parenting plans, drafting of qualified domestic relations orders (qdros), mediation services, equitable distributions, collaborative law, post-judgement modification and enforcement, domestic violence cases, and dissolution of marriage or divorce.  Troy Legal, P.A. is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.


[1] The Florida Senate. Chapter 39 Section 01 – 2021 Florida Statutes (flsenate.gov). Accessed May 9, 2022.

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Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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