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What is the income shares model of child support?

Children are often unwilling participants of divorce. While you may have decided to separate or terminate your marriage, your children are forced to go through the divorce as well and must adapt to a new lifestyle as a result. Children may have to move from a traditional family lifestyle to living in a single-parent household. They may switch split custody with both parents or spend the majority of their time with one parent. Child support is designed to bridge the financial gap that children may experience when going through a divorce and help to maintain the child’s quality of life.

In Florida, and in many other states in the nation, child support is based off the income shares model of child support. This means that both parents financial contribution to the child is considered. The income shares model attempts to keep the child’s lifestyle similar to what it would have been if the parents would have stayed together.

Using this model, the income of both parents is calculated and combined together for a household income. A chart is used to determine where the household income lies, and how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay to maintain that lifestyle. Other expenses are also taken into account, including medical expenses, educational expenses, child care and the cost of recreational activities. The final child support amount is then determined using this calculation and other expenses. When parents can work together to provide financial and emotional support for their children, it can help to ease the divorce process.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken for legal advice.



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