How Is Child Support Calculated?

When it comes to Tallahassee family law and divorce, child support is often one of the most confusing and difficult areas to understand. At the same time, child support is the part of the process where most non-custodial parents (mainly fathers) feel as if they were not treated fairly by the courts. However, the amount of Tallahassee child support you are ordered to pay isn’t some arbitrary number. In reality, the child support is based on a formula, which can be very complicated and extremely simple at the same time.

In the U.S., there are two main methods used to calculate child support: the Income Shares Model and the Percentage of Income Model. Since Florida uses the Income Shares Model to calculate Tallahassee child support, the following provides a general outline of this formula and other important information.

The Income Shares Model for Child Support Calculations in Tallahassee

The Income Shares Model attempts to effectively divide the costs of raising a child in Tallahassee based on the income of the parents. Under the Income Shares Model, the courts must first determine the amount of money it would cost to raise a child each month. Then, the incomes of both parents are added together and child support is figured based on their percentage of each parent’s projected contribution.

Example of Child Support Calculations

For instance, consider if Tallahassee’s child support courts determine it would cost $800 every month to raise a child and the combined income of both parents was $80,000 (father makes $50,000 and the mother makes $30,000). In this case under the Income Shares Model, the father would be required to pay $500 and the mother would be responsible for the remaining $300.

Child Support Formula


  • $50,000 / 80,000 = .625 (The father makes 62.5% of the income)
  • .625 x $800 = $500 (The amount of child support the father would owe)


  • $30,000 / 80,000 = .375 (The mother makes 37.5% of the income)
  • .375 x 800 = $300 (The amount of child support the mother would owe)

Although both potential Tallahassee child support payments are calculated, the only parent that actually pays is the one without custody of the child. The other parent keeps their portion to spend it on the child. Check out the Florida Child Support Calculator provided by for a rough estimate of your Tallahassee child support payment.

Factors Affecting Tallahassee Child Support

When Tallahassee divorce courts calculate child support, there are several factors that can come into play, such as:

  • The number of children that are being supported by the child support.
  • Any childcare or daycare expenses.
  • The type and specifications of the custody arrangement.
  • Whether the child has any special medical conditions.

In divorces with joint custody, how much time the child spends with each parent also plays a significant role in calculating child support. Typically, the more overnight stays the child has with a parent, the lower the parent’s child support amount will potentially be.

In any case, every marriage and divorce is unique. As a result, certain factors may or may not apply to your case. Your Tallahassee family law judge is given the discretion to deviate from the standard formula for Florida to make concessions for special circumstances. As a result, it’s imperative to use a Tallahassee family lawyer who is experienced in child support calculations and payment.

Tallahassee Child Support Payment Modifications

Most states will periodically review the amount of child support being paid. However, you can always file a petition to modify child support through an experienced Tallahassee family law attorney if your circumstances change. You can also file a motion to modify child support if there are changes in your ex spouse’s circumstances change since the original order was issued. Common examples of a change in circumstances are:

  • Loss of a job
  • Increase in income
  • Change in the child custody agreement

While the Income Shares Formula may give you an idea of how much child support you will owe on a monthly basis, the court views every child support case on a case-by-case analysis. The previous information was offered to provide you with a rough estimation of potential child support payments and the different variables considered in Florida. It’s vital to use an experienced Tallahassee family law attorney or Tallahassee child support attorney because you never know what to expect from a judge’s ruling.

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