I recently read an article about new Florida laws that may complicate child support.
Florida recently considered two bills geared towards state alimony and child support laws. The bills were merged into one and passed both the Senate and House. For parents affected by the new child support law, the process of setting up child support will become more complicated.
One change to their child support law is to reduce the need for the filing of modification petitions each time a child reaches the age of majority. For those with more than one child under the age of 18, guidelines for child support in settlements needs to include the child support guidelines amount and also the remaining child support payable after each child reaches the age of 18. Now the modification to reduce support is automatic.
Another change is the requirement of imputation of income to any parent voluntarily unemployed. The imputation would be at Florida minimum wage. Under the old law, while automatic imputation did not exist, there was the assumption that income could be imputed at the minimum wage level under federal law. In effect, the new change approximately doubles the imputed income that can be used in calculating child support. This change is intended to make it difficult for parents to decrease income levels intentionally in an effort to pay less in child support.
Clearly, the calculation of child support is not an autmatic formula. I am not a lawyer practicing in Florida, but I am a California lawyer practicing in family law.
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