How to File a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines in Florida
In Florida, child support payments are typically determined based on state guidelines. Family law courts presume that the calculations made when using the child support guidelines will be fair and appropriate. Of course, that is certainly not true in every case. The child support guidelines do not work well for every situation.
Parents in Florida can file a motion to deviate from the child support guidelines—either to increase or decrease child support payments. This is done through the filing for Family Law Form 943. Here, our Tampa child support attorneys explain what you need to know about deviating from Florida’s child support guidelines.
You Must Select a Reason for Deviation
You cannot deviate from Florida’s child support guidelines simply because you do not like the results that they produce when they are applied. When you file a motion to deviate from the guidelines, you must select specific reason(s) to justify why such a deviation is warranted in your case. Here is a list of the most common reasons used to successfully justify an increase or decrease in child support payments in Florida:
Reasons to Justify More Child Support
- The child has extraordinary medical or education needs, resulting in increased expenses;
- The parent who is paying child support has significant financial assets that are not properly accounted for using Florida’s income-based guidelines; and
- The parent receiving child support has such a low income that they are unable to meet the basic needs of the child.
Reasons to Justify Less Child Support
- The parent receiving child support has substantial financial assets that are not properly accounted for using Florida’s income-based guidelines;
- The application of the guidelines would require a parent to pay more than 55 percent of their gross income for a single child support order; and
- The nature of the parenting plan has materially reduced the financial expenditures made by the parent who is receiving support.
Child Support Deviations in Florida: Parents Must Bring a Well-Support Claim
One of the most important things to remember about Florida’s child support guidelines is that state courts assume that they are appropriate. In other words, strong and compelling evidence is needed to push a family law judge off of that initial assumption. Ultimately, the burden of proof is placed on the parent seeking to deviate from the standard state child support guidelines. In order to bring a successful claim, you need comprehensive and well-organized evidence that clearly demonstrates that a deviation is justified in your case. An experienced Tampa, FL child support lawyer can help.
Call Our Tampa Child Support Lawyers for Immediate Assistance
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida family law attorneys have experience handling the complete range of child support cases. If you have questions or concerns about deviating from the state’s child support guidelines, we are here to help. For a completely confidential consultation, please contact our law firm right away. From our office location in Tampa, we serve parents and families throughout the region, including in Pasco County and Pinellas County.