In the State of Florida there are two types of parental responsibility:
- Shared Parental Responsibility
- Sole Parental Responsibility
Shared Parental Responsibility is when two parents discuss and mutually agree on all major issues (i.e., medical, education, religion) in regard to their child(ren)’s well being. In the event you and your child’s parent cannot mutually agree on a major decision for your child(ren) then either parent may petition the Court in order for the Judge to make the determination for you. The Judge will base their decision on what is in the best interest of your child(ren).
Sole Parental Responsibility is when one parent solely makes the decision on all major issues (i.e., medical, education, religion) in regard to their child(ren)’s well being. This designation of sole parental responsibility is granted in limited, special circumstances. For example, if a parent has abandoned their child, or is incarcerated it is difficult for the parents to communicate in regarding to their child.
The State of Florida no longer makes a custody determination between the parents. Instead, the Court establishes a parenting plan, whereby each parent has timesharing with his or her child(ren). Some of the factors that the Court will consider in determining the timesharing schedule between the parents are work schedules, living accommodations, parent’s criminal history, etc. That while these are only three examples there are many other factors that the Court will take into consideration, the most important factor being your child(ren)’s best interest.
The State of Florida has established a formula on how to calculate each parent’s child support obligation for the support and maintenance of their child(ren).
In order to determine your child support obligation the Court will first determine each parent’s net income. Your net income is determined by subtracting allowable deductions (federal taxes, Medicare, health insurance, mandatory union dues, and mandatory retirement) from your gross income.
A parent’s housing expense, car payment, utilities, etc. are NOT considered when calculating child support. However, if someone is self-employed reasonable, ordinary, and necessary expenses for the business may be considered when determining the business owner’s net income.
Your child(ren)’s health insurance premiums and daycare/after care expenses are also part of the child support calculation.
The other main factor that is considered when calculating child support is the timesharing arrangement between you and your child’s other parent, For example, if a Father has more than 72 overnights per year then his child support obligation would be adjusted based on the number of overnights that he has with the child(ren). Therefore, the more overnights (over 72) that a parent has with the child(ren) could reduce that parent’s child support obligation.
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