Child support is a common matter that parents find challenging to handle when going through a divorce, especially when there are a significant amount of assets to be divided. Determining what is fair for the children in these situations can easily become a legal nightmare. Here's what you need to know about how child support works in high-asset divorces.
What are the Potential Sources of Income for Child Support?
Child support is determined based on the income of both parents as well as additional factors. Typically, this is easily determined through the parent's W-2 forms and other tax records. However, in a high-asset divorce, one or both spouses may receive income from a wide variety of sources, making it more challenging to determine the total income.
Income could come from:
- Basic salary
- Bonuses and Commissions
- Expense accounts and allowances
- Investments and other passive revenue sources
These are not the only sources of potential income. Your Coconut Creek divorce lawyer will be able to assist you with determining what is considered income, as well as where to look if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you in the divorce.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
In Florida, child support amounts are based on the combined income of both parents through a set schedule. This table stops at $12,000 of combined income per month. For many high-net-worth couples, they will exceed this amount. Therefore, to decide what is fair in terms of child support, the parents can agree on what they deem fair and take it to court for approval. However, not every couple will agree on the amount, and a court may need to make the decision themselves.
The court will look at the case's unique factors to determine what is in the child's best interests. Typically, rather than using the basic child support guidelines, the court may not apply the minimum amount of support. Additionally, if the court uses the basic formula, the amount may not be fair or appropriate. Therefore, the court could choose to reduce the presumptive monthly child support by 5% after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child, age, the standard of living, and the financial status of each parent.
According to Fla. Stat. § 61.30(1)(a), if the court decides to reduce the guideline amount by more than 5%, they can only do so if they write an explanation of "why ordering a payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate." Additionally, the court is permitted to make an equitable adjustment of the minimum child support obligation based on a list of factors.
To schedule a consultation with our Coconut Creek family law attorney, call us today at (954) 626-8071.