Florida Divorce Guide

  • Divorce (Dissolution)
  • Divorce (Dissolution): Fault and No-Fault
  • Grounds
  • Adultery
  • Residency
  • Same State, Different Address
  • Proof of Residency
  • Resident Versus Nonresident
  • How to Establish Residency
  • County Jurisdiction
  • Common Law Marriage
  • Contested and Uncontested Divorce (Dissolution)
  • Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA)
  • Types of Divorce (Dissolution) in Florida
  • Limited Divorce or Separation
  • Financial Affidavits
  • Service of Process
  • Property Division
  • Alimony
  • Records to Keep When You Pay or Receive Alimony
  • Child Custody and Visitation (Parental Responsibility and Time-Sharing) - Parenting Plans
  • Parenting Course
  • Child Support
  • Modification of Child Support

DIVORCE (DISSOLUTION)

In Florida, divorce is officially known as "dissolution of marriage." Under Florida law, you have the right to represent yourself in all legal cases, including a divorce.

The legal term for representing yourself is "pro se," pronounced "pro say") which is Latin for "on your own behalf." Representing yourself is not a good idea for everyone. It is important to understand that by representing yourself, you may be giving up important rights. It is very important for you to find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance or other significant property before you decide whether to file your own divorce. If you do not ask for such things in the divorce, you will give them up forever.

Before you file for divorce on your own, you need to talk to your spouse, if possible, and find out how he/she feels about the divorce and about the issues mentioned above. This will give you an indication on how to proceed with the divorce.

The law limits the authority of the court to grant divorces (known as a question of jurisdiction - can this court hear this divorce?). The law also dictates when the court has jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding.

Within Florida, the circuit courts have jurisdiction to hear divorce cases. Generally, the circuit court with jurisdiction for your case is the circuit court in the county where you live or the circuit court in the county where your spouse lives. When you file the relevant papers, you must have stated your grounds for that court to have jurisdiction. If not stated correctly, your spouse could file a motion to dismiss your case.

After you file your papers, your spouse has twenty (20) calendar days to respond in writing to your request for divorce (known as a Petition). If your spouse fails to respond within the twenty (20) day time frame, you may file a motion for default asking the court to proceed with the divorce. So long as service of process has been completed correctly, a default can be entered in your case. You would then schedule a hearing with the Clerk's Office, sending notice of the hearing time and date to your spouse.

If you are unable to locate your spouse for personal service, you will have to use constructive service (service by publication in the newspaper for a period of thirty (30) calendar days, at your expense). Prior to publishing the notice in the newspaper, you must make every effort to locate your spouse (diligent search) by contacting friends, relatives, the Post Office, etc. A record of the persons you contacted should also be kept.

Whether or not your spouse responds, you (and your corroborative witness, if applicable) will have to appear before the court in the hearing scheduled by the clerk. After you (and your corroborative witness, if applicable) testifies and you have presented other evidence, and if your spouse answers or shows up, then your spouse will also have a chance to do the same. At the end of the hearing, the court will decide whether to grant a divorce and a settlement of marital issues. The divorce is considered final once the Judge signs the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

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DIVORCE (DISSOLUTION): FAULT AND NO-FAULT

Divorce (dissolution) is the ending of a marriage ordered by a court. In Florida, you could ask for two basic types of divorce: absolute and limited. When the court decrees or orders an absolute divorce, it means that the divorce is permanent, permits remarriage, and terminates property claims. When the court decrees a limited divorce, it means that the divorce is not permanent, does not permit remarriage, and does not terminate property claims (but the limited divorce may settle these claims); it basically serves only to legalize the separation and provide for support. You are not required to get a limited divorce before you can get an absolute divorce in Florida – there is a common misconception that you need a legal separation in order to get a divorce. This is not the case.

Annulment establishes that your marital status never existed. The court will declare that you were never married. Because the courts rarely grant an annulment, you should think twice about using this route if you want to end your marriage. The court may look to, but is not limited to, the legitimacy of children and the preservation of the sanctity of marriage. Because of these considerations a court will usually look to granting a divorce instead of an annulment.

Florida is a no-fault divorce state. No-fault means that fault of one party or the other doesn't have to be alleged or proven in order to obtain a divorce. In order to obtain a no-fault divorce, the action will be filed under the grounds that the marriage is "irretrievably broken". This means that for whatever reason, the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed (the differences or problems are beyond being able to be settled for the parties to continue in the marital relationship). Any other requirements, such as the six (6) month Florida residency requirement, still need to be met. Generally, fault grounds can be considered by the court for certain circumstances such as alimony, property, and child-related issues (like parental responsibility (custody) and time-sharing); however, these issues are routinely addressed in no-fault divorces. Fault-based grounds are typically part of contested divorce cases, which are usually more complicated than no-fault divorces.

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GROUNDS

There are three principal players involved in your marriage that will also be involved in your divorce: you, your spouse, and the state. You cannot simply break up, saddle your charger, and ride off into the sunset. Among other legal considerations, you have to give the state an acceptable reason why you should be allowed to break up. The reason is known as the ground for your divorce. Over the years each state has enacted legislation that governs acceptable grounds.

In Florida, dissolution of marriage is granted under the following circumstances:

  • Irretrievably broken – show proof to the court that the marriage existed and that one or both parties in the marriage states that the relationship can no longer function as a marital relationship.
  • Mental incapacity of the other party (rarely used) – one of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for a period of at least 3 years prior to filing, with psychiatrist testimony of incurable incapacity with no chance or recovery.

In Florida, marriage can be terminated either by divorce (dissolution) or annulment. An annulment is usually preferred for religious reasons, and is accompanied by a church annulment procedure thereby making it void or voidable; however, in order for a religious annulment to legally binding, you must still go through the legal annulment or divorce procedure. A void or voidable marriage may be terminated by dissolution or annulment. Annulment may also a proper method of termination of the marriage where one of the parties lacked the capacity to contract; either because of a prior existing marriage, extreme intoxication or lack of the requisite mental capacity. Although annulments may be granted, they are generally more complex and more difficult to present to the court. The preference of the court is not to annul, but for the parties to divorce. Also, any marriage that is expressly prohibited by statute is void by annulment.

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ADULTERY

Generally, adultery is sexual intercourse or sexual relations between a married person and someone other than the spouse. Adultery is considered a fault ground. As Florida is a no-fault state, while adultery may have taken place and been a cause of the ending of the marriage, it does not have to be proven or presented to the court for a no-fault divorce to be granted.

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RESIDENCY

In order to start the divorce process you must file a Petition in the circuit court where you or your spouse lives. When filing your Petition, you will have to meet the residency requirement for the State of Florida. Divorce laws apply only to the residents of a state, and each state has its own residency requirements. The residency requirement to file for divorce in Florida is six (6) months. The law absolutely requires that you or your spouse has been a resident of Florida for the six (6) months immediately prior to and at the time that you file for a divorce. For example, you cannot have lived in Florida for six (6) months before moving to Nebraska for another six (6) months and then come back to Florida to file for a divorce. However, after you have filed, you do not have to stay in Florida (keeping in mind that the petitioner (filing party) must usually be present for any personal appearances, hearings, etc., and that both parties must be available to appear for the beginning and end of the Simplified Dissolution process).

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SAME STATE, DIFFERENT ADDRESSES

You do not have to remain at the same address to fulfill your residency requirement. You can move anywhere within the state from which you are filing. The forms do not require you to list all addressees, but you should be prepared to prove where you lived during the separation in the final hearing.

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PROOF OF RESIDENCY

In Florida, proof of residency for a divorce may be shown in one of three (3) ways

  • Providing a valid Florida Driver's License, a Florida Identification Card, or a valid voter registration card, that was issued more than six (6) months prior to filing;
  • Have a witness appear at the hearing and provide verbal testimony;
  • Provide a completed, notarized Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form (completed by someone other than the parties involved who knows how long you or your spouse has been residing in Florida).

The proof or testimony is generally all that most courts require to verify residency. But cases have been dismissed and even overturned because of improper proof of residency.

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RESIDENT VERSUS NONRESIDENT

A court may take on a divorce proceeding even if your spouse is not a resident of Florida. If you or your spouse move to another state after the divorce has been filed, you may still have your case heard in Florida (as Florida retains jurisdiction of the matter once filed in Florida).

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HOW TO ESTABLISH RESIDENCY

Register to vote. Get a driver's license. Get a job. Open charge accounts. Register your car. Take out a library card. The list is endless. But whatever you do, do not maintain a residence in another state that could imply that you do not intend to remain in the state from which you file.

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COUNTY JURISDICTION

Florida has counties that govern which court your divorce will take place in. This is called venue. The divorce must be filed in the county where either the petitioner or respondent resides in Florida.

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COMMON LAW MARRIAGE

Common law marriage is a marriage where the parties hold themselves out as a married couple, and under certain circumstances, are deemed to be married without a formal marriage license or legal ceremony. Some states, such as Texas, still recognize marriages created by common law criteria.

Florida no longer recognizes the creation of a "common law marriage" (since 1968), and as such a couple cannot acquire marital rights and responsibilities by living together for a certain period of time in Florida. Such a relationship created in Florida does not require a divorce or dissolution to end.

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CONTESTED AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCE: (DISSOLUTION)

Dissolutions and divorces are usually either contested or uncontested. Contested divorces are those in which the respondent (non-filing party) disputes any issue in the divorce case (such as property division, child custody, alimony, etc.), and/or where the parties are unable and unwilling to cooperate or agree on all terms of the separation and divorce. An uncontested case usually means that both parties are cooperating, agree on how they want custody, property, etc., settled, and will not make any objections to any part of the divorce filing. By entering into a written settlement agreement (such as a Marital Settlement Agreement or MSA), you are making it clear to the court that the divorce is uncontested.

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MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (MSA)

A Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), also known as a separation or property settlement agreement, is a written agreement drafted by the parties to resolve and spell out all details related to the marriage and separation (and eventual divorce). This may include child custody and support, spousal maintenance, property division (including the property such as the marital home, vehicles, retirement accounts, personal property, etc.), debt division, medical insurance, tax issues, etc. The written agreement is enforceable as a contract, but when incorporated into the Dissolution Judgment, it becomes subject to the court's power of contempt of court. It may be mutually amended, or modified by court order, especially regarding custody, care, and support of the minor children. Having an MSA as part of the divorce signifies to the court that the matter is uncontested.

An MSA may be drawn up before you file for divorce, while the parties are still living together, or after the parties have separated. It is executed (signed) by both parties in front of a Notary Public (while the parties may elect to do so, the document does not need to be signed by both parties at the same time, in front of the same Notary). In Florida, an MSA is required for three (3) of the four (4) types of uncontested divorce. An MSA is not typically filed with the court until the divorce documents would be filed.

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TYPES OF DIVORCE (DISSOLUTION) IN FLORIDA

Florida has four (4) different types of uncontested divorce (dissolution), depending on situations or circumstances of the marriage. Three (3) of the four (4) types of uncontested divorce require that the parties have an executed written agreement (such as an MSA). Requirements for each type of Florida divorce (dissolution) are:

Simplified Dissolution

- One or both parties must have lived in Florida for at least the six (6) month period immediately prior to filing the divorce. Proof of Florida residency must be provided to the court.

- Both parties agree that the marriage is unable to be saved.

- The parties are fully cooperating and both must be able and willing to appear at the courthouse together to file the Simplified Dissolution documents at the local courthouse in Florida.

- All issues of property, assets, debts, etc., have been mutually agreed upon and settled by the parties in a written agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement) signed by both parties and filed with the court.

- No minor or dependent children exist within the marriage.

- The wife is not pregnant.

- Both parties waive alimony.

- There is no request for financial details other than those to be provided in the Financial Affidavits.

- Both parties waive all rights to a trial or appeal.

- Both parties are willing and able to appear at the final hearing.

Standard Divorce (Dissolution) – No Property No Minor Children

- One or both parties must have lived in Florida for at least the six (6) month period immediately prior to filing the divorce. Proof of Florida residency must be provided to the court.

- No minor or dependent children exist within the marriage.

- The wife is not pregnant.

- The parties have no assets or liabilities to divide.

- Both parties waive alimony.

- Both parties will complete and file the required Financial Affidavits.

Standard Divorce (Dissolution) – With Property No Minor Children

- One or both parties must have lived in Florida for at least the six (6) month period immediately prior to filing the divorce. Proof of Florida residency must be provided to the court.

- No minor or dependent children exist within the marriage.

- The wife is not pregnant.

- All issues of property, assets, debts, etc., have been mutually agreed upon and settled by the parties in a written agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement) signed by both parties and filed with the court.

- Both parties will complete and file the required Financial Affidavits.

Standard Divorce (Dissolution) With Minor Children

- One or both parties must have lived in Florida for at least the six (6) month period immediately prior to filing the divorce. Proof of Florida residency must be provided to the court.

- There are minor and/or dependent children or the wife is pregnant.

- All issues of property, assets, debts, etc., have been mutually agreed upon and settled by the parties in a written agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement) signed by both parties and filed with the court.

- Both parties will complete and file the required Financial Affidavits.

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LIMITED DIVORCE OR SEPARATION

Many people who, for personal or religious reasons, do not wish to obtain a full divorce can get a "limited divorce" instead. Florida has no legal separation. A "Limited Divorce" in Florida is similar to what is called a "Legal Separation" in other states. Limited divorces are very much like an absolute divorce with the major difference being that it is generally considered temporary and that the parties cannot remarry. You are, in effect, still legally married at the same time that you are "legally separated".

In order to obtain a limited divorce in Florida, you must meet residency requirements, grounds, and other legally prescribed laws just as you have to in a case for absolute divorce. Limited divorces can also involve property settlements, alimony, and child-related issues.

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FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS

Financial Affidavits are required to be completed by both parties as part of the Florida divorce process. The completed affidavit forms are to be served on the other party and filed with the court. The Affidavits may be filed at the initial filing, but must be filed within forty-five (45) days of Service upon the respondent.

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SERVICE OF PROCESS

The respondent (the non-filing spouse) has a legal right to receive notice that a legal action has been filed. Official Service is completed by providing copies of all relevant documents to the other party, usually shortly after the documents are filed with the court. There are state guidelines that must be met in order for Service to be considered properly conducted. The filing party cannot just hand the spouse the documents and consider that party served. In Florida, a spouse may be served by:

Personal Service

If you know where your spouse lives in Florida, personal service should be used. Personal Service is service by hand-delivery (documents provided directly to the respondent), by a deputy sheriff (in the county where the respondent lives or works), or by a private process server.

Constructive Service (Service by Publication)

If you are unable to locate your spouse for personal service, or if your spouse lives outside of Florida, you may use constructive service (service by publication in the newspaper for a period of thirty (30) calendar days, at your expense). Prior to publishing the notice in the newspaper, you must make every effort to locate your spouse (diligent search) by contacting friends, relatives, the Post Office, etc. A record of the persons you contacted should also be kept.

No matter what type of Service you utilize, it is important to make sure that you include a copy of each document that you file with the court. A blank Answer form is typically included in the Service documents as well (this form is to be completed by the respondent and filed with the court). Other blank forms may also be included in the Service packet so that the respondent has the forms available to complete and return to the petitioner as applicable.

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PROPERTY DIVISION

Marital property may include a marital home or real property, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, general household property, etc., obtained during the marriage. Courts divide property under one (1) of two (2) schemes: equitable distribution or community property.

  • Equitable distribution. Assets and earnings accumulated during marriage are divided equitably (fairly). Equitable distribution principles are followed everywhere except the community property states listed just below.
  • Community property. In Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, all property of a married person is classified as either community property, owned equally by both spouses, or the separate property of one (1) spouse. At dissolution or divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property.

Florida is an "equitable distribution" state. This means there is a presumption of a 50-50 division of marital property, but also that when parties are unable to agree as to the division of property, property is distributed in an equitable fashion, which does not necessarily mean equal, but rather, what is fair to both parties.

Section 61.075 of the Florida Statues indicates marital assets and liabilities to include:

- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them.

- The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both.

- Interspousal gifts during the marriage.

- All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.

- All real property held by the parties as tenants by the entireties, whether acquired prior to or during the marriage, shall be presumed to be a marital asset. If, in any case, a party makes a claim to the contrary, the burden of proof shall be on the party asserting the claim that the subject property, or some portion thereof, is nonmarital.

- All personal property titled jointly by the parties as tenants by the entireties, whether acquired prior to or during the marriage, shall be presumed to be a marital asset. In the event a party makes a claim to the contrary, the burden of proof shall be on the party asserting the claim that the subject property, or some portion thereof, is nonmarital.

To review the full statute related to marital and non-marital property in Florida click here.

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ALIMONY (SPOUSAL SUPPORT)

Alimony, or spousal support, may be requested by either party as part of the divorce. It must be requested in writing, and must be requested before the final hearing. Types of alimony that may be requested and ordered in Florida include:

  • Temporary Alimony – this type of alimony is paid for a set period of time, usually to help an economically dependent spouse during the time frame in which the divorce process is taking place. It usually ends once the divorce process is over.
  • Permanent Alimony – this type of alimony is usually paid at a specified, periodic rate until it would be modified by court order, the death of either party, or the remarriage of the receiving party – whichever of those events would happen first.
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – this type of alimony is paid to the recipient for a short period of time, usually two (2) years or less, and is not modifiable. It may be paid to assist the dependent spouse in making the transition from being married to being a single person again. This would also terminate if one (1) of the parties would die, or if the recipient would remarry, prior to the specified end date of the payments.
  • Durational Alimony – this type of alimony is paid for a set period of time when permanent alimony may not be appropriate for the circumstances of the marriage (such as for short-term marriages or marriages of moderate duration, or for marriages of long duration but permanent support is not necessary). It also terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient if the payment end date has not yet arrived.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony – this type of support is paid for a limited, set period of time in order to allow the receiving party to complete education or training (according to a plan that the court finds acceptable) so that he or she may be more self-sufficient. It also terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient if the payment end date has not yet arrived.
  • Lump Sum Alimony – this type of alimony is an amount paid to the recipient in a one-time payment, or in a specified, limited number of payments.

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RECORDS TO KEEP WHEN YOU PAY OR RECEIVE ALIMONY

What records should you keep when you pay or receive alimony (also known as spousal support) payments?

You must keep adequate records if you are paying or receiving alimony. This point cannot be over-emphasized. Sometimes after a divorce or dissolution, the spouses dispute, or the IRS challenges, the amounts which were actually paid or received. Without adequate documentation, the payer may lose the alimony tax deduction and be ordered to pay back support if the other spouse makes a claim in court.

Payer

Here are suggestions of records to keep:

  • a list showing each payment (date, check number, place where sent);
  • original checks used for payments (keep in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box) -- be sure to note on each check the month for which the support is being paid; and
  • a receipt signed by the recipient, if you pay in cash.

Be sure to keep these records for at least three (3) years from the date you file the tax return deducting the payments.

Recipient

Make a list which shows each payment received. Include the following information:

  • date payment was received;
  • amount received;
  • check number or other identifying document (for example, the number of the money order);
  • account number on which any check is written;
  • name of bank on which check is drawn or money order issued;
  • a photocopy of the check or money order; and
  • a copy of any signed receipt you give for cash payments.

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CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION (PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND TIME-SHARING) – PARENTING PLANS

Florida courts give both parents equal consideration when determining parental responsibility and parenting time, based on the best interests of the child. When minor children are part of the divorce process, a parenting plan (a document that governs the relationship between the parents relating to decisions to be made for the children) must be established to spell out issues such as parental responsibility, time-sharing schedule, health care, education, medical coverage, emotional well-being, etc., for the children. It must contain a specific schedule for time-sharing and parental responsibility, as well as take into account all circumstances between the parents as they relate to the children.

When the parties agree to shared parental responsibility, they agree to both parties having full parental rights and responsibilities for the children, including making major decisions jointly. This type of parental responsibility is "presumptive" in Florida.

If a parenting arrangement is made where only one parent is to have sole parental responsibility, the other party may or may not be provided time-sharing (visitation) rights. Sole parental responsibility is not the norm in Florida, but may be ordered depending on certain circumstances. Time-sharing may be denied to the other party (proof of reason for denial must be provided to the court and the court determine that time-sharing is not in the children's best interest), may be a set schedule that the other parent will follow, or may be a situation where there will be limited time-sharing with supervision only (supervised by a trusted family-member, friend, a court-appointed official, etc.).

A Parenting Plan must be created and agreed to by both parties and approved by the court. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues, a proposed Parenting Plan may be filed. With a proposed plan, as well as when the parties would develop a plan that the court will not accept, a judge would make a decision as to the outstanding issues to ensure that the minor children's interests are being properly protected.

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PARENTING COURSE

Florida law requires that all divorcing parents complete a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course (parenting course) before the divorce is finalized. The course is designed to help educate, train, and assist divorcing parents on the effects and consequences of divorce on all parties involved. The petitioner (filing party) usually has forty-five (45) days to complete the course once the petition has been filed. The respondent has forty–five (45) days after Service to complete the course. The clerk at the local courthouse (where the documents are filed) will have more specific information on the approved classes and fees associated with the course, as well as a list of the approved providers.

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CHILD SUPPORT

Every child has the legal right to child support. Both parties have an obligation and responsibility to support their children in a way that benefits each of the children and covers their needs. These needs may include housing, food, health care, education, child care, etc.

Florida has specific child support guidelines that help determine how much support a child is entitled to, based on the combined net income of the two parties and the number of children receiving child support. While the guidelines establish the base expectation of child support, the parties may agree to or ask the court to establish alternate child support amounts (a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines will need to be filed). Pursuant to Section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes, gross income includes but is not limited to:

- Salary or wages.

- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.

- Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. "Business income" means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.

- Disability benefits.

- All workers' compensation benefits and settlements.

- Unemployment compensation.

- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.

- Social security benefits.

- Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.

- Interest and dividends.

- Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.

- Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.

- Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.

- Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

Some of the considerations in determining child support amounts include but are not limited to: the income of both parties; the amount of overnights that each parent has with the children; financial needs of the children such as day care; and health insurance for the children.

Section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes also outlines that the net income for each parent is computed by subtracting all allowable deductions from the gross income. The Net income of each parent is added together to determine the combined net income of the parties. The Florida Child Support Guidelines schedule may then be applied to the combined net income, determining the minimum child support amount. Said Section explains allowable deductions from gross income to include:

- Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities.

- Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax.

- Mandatory union dues.

- Mandatory retirement payments.

- Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child.

- Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid.

- Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before the court.

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MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT

Florida law allows for modification of child support. Generally, modification may be requested when there is a "substantial change in circumstances" for either parent (or for the minor children), such as a significant increase or decrease in income, a change in the amount of time or overnights the children spend with a parent, a substantial change in expenses related to the children (such as health insurance premiums or day care expenses), or if there is a significant change in the needs of the child (such as the child becoming disabled). The modification must also be in the best interest of the children. Modifications may also requested when a minor child becomes emancipated and is no longer entitled to child support.

Florida statute allows for modification when the difference of the amount provided for under the Florida Child Support Guidelines is at least 15%, or $50.00, whichever is greater, per month from the amount of support in the current child support order.

To review the full Florida statute related to child support and modification click here.