Deviation of Child Support
The child support guideline amount presumptively establishes the amount that the Court should order to be paid as child support. However, the Court may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 5%, from the child support guideline amount, after considering all of the relevant factors. It should be noted that that the Court does not have to provide any written findings when deviating from the guidelines amount within 5%.
Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to deviate, either up or down, from the statutory amount of child support in excess of plus or minus 5%. If so, the Court may order payment in an amount which varies more than 5% from the guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate. Florida Statute Section 61.30 recognizes the following factors which may cause the Court to deviate from an amount of child support which varies more than 5% from the guideline amount:
- Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
- Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.
- The payment of support for a parent which regularly has been paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.
- Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
- The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
- Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though the fulfilling of those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.
- Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.
- The impact of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.
- When application of the child support guidelines schedule requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.
- The particular parenting plan, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 40 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.
Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt which the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.