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Child Support

According to Florida law, every parent has the obligation to support their minor children or children who are their dependents. If the parents no longer support a child jointly because they have separated, divorced or were never married, Florida has created guidelines for support issues that ideally reduce the need for litigation.

However, in some cases, a parent that is required to support the children does not pay their child support, they may have lost a job and cannot afford to pay, or they may not be able to be located who. In these cases, it is important to hire an experienced family law attorney in the Florida Panhandle who can help you modify your child support or help you get child support from a parent who cannot be found or who is not paying their support.

DeFuniak Springs Child Support Lawyer

If you have problems paying child support or need to change your support order in DeFuniak Springs or any of the surrounding cities throughout the Florida Panhandle, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC. They represent mothers and fathers throughout DeFuniak Springs, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Niceville, Bonifay, Westville, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola, Century, and nearby areas.

The lawyers at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in even the most complex family law situations and are knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s child support, modification, and custody laws. Call Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at about child support in Florida.


Florida Child Support Laws

According to Fla. Stat. § 61.046(22), child support is defined as monetary support, health care, arrearages or past support for the support and maintenance of a child. The court can order one or both parents to pay child support to the other parent or third party who has custody of the child. Child support is generally defined in a support order, which is a temporary or final judgment, decree or order issued by the court.

A parent who is ordered by the court to pay monetary support or past support to the other parent is called an obligor. The parent who is entitled to receive monetary support or past support from the other parent is the obligee.

Fla. Stat. § 61.29 defines the child support guidelines in Florida, which are based on both parents combined net income that would have been for the support of the child if they parents and child were living in one household.


Crestview Modifications to Child Support

There are a number of reasons one or both parents may seek a modification of their child support order. Some of the most common reasons to modify an existing agreement are to increase or decrease the amount of support because one parent has lost a significant source of income, one or more children have turned 18, a child is still in high school so the obligee needs to extend the time support is to be paid, and/or medical support needs to be added or removed from the order.

If a parent needs to modify the child support order, they must include an affidavit with the modification for child support showing the party’s income, allowable deductions, and net income.

Generally, the fact that the obligor parent has other children who were born or adopted after the support obligation arose is not sufficient to increase or decrease the amount of child support.


Fort Walton Beach Support Guidelines in Florida

According to Fla. Stat. § 61.30, the amount of child support under the guidelines is determined by the income of both parents, the child’s health care and child care costs and the standard needs of the child. The standard guidelines under Florida law for child support can be found in this worksheet – Florida Child Support Guidelines.

Net income for each parent is added together to create a combined monthly net income to determine the child’s minimum support need. Under Fla. Stat. § 61.30, the combined monthly income for both parents includes gross income such as:

  • Salary or wages;
  • Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime or tips;
  • Business income from self-employment, partnership close corporations or independent contracts;
  • Disability benefits;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements;
  • Unemployment compensation;
  • Pension, retirement or annuities;
  • Social security benefits;
  • Spousal support from a previous marriage or court ordered in the current marriage;
  • Interest and dividends;
  • Rental income;
  • Income from royalties, trusts or estates;
  • Reimbursed expenses that reduce living expenses; and
  • Gains from dealings in property.

Any form of public assistance is excluded from gross income. Additionally, net income is determined by subtracting allowable tax deductions from the gross income.

The amount that each parent owes for child support is determined by multiplying the child support need by each parent’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income. Although these are the general guidelines for support, the court may adjust the total child support award for any of the following factors:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological, education or dental expenses;
  • Independent income of the child;
  • Support payments for a parent;
  • Seasonal variations in income or expenses;
  • Age of the child;
  • Special needs;
  • Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and child;
  • A schedule that requires a parent to pay the other parent more than 55% of their gross income for child support;
  • The parenting plan; or
  • Anything else that would achieve an equitable result.

Repercussions for Failure to Pay Florida Child Support

If an obligor fails or refuses to pay child support, they can face any of the following repercussions for past due child support:

  • Driver’s license suspension;
  • The money can be taken from Florida lottery winnings over $600;
  • The money can be taken from unemployment and worker’s compensation;
  • The obligor’s employer can be ordered to withhold money from their paycheck;
  • Liens can be placed on the obligor’s car, boat or other property;
  • The past due amount can be reported to credit agencies;
  • A hold can be placed on bank accounts;
  • The money can be removed from bank account; and/or
  • A writ or arrest warrant can be issued for the obligor.

Florida Child Support Resources

Florida Statutes Online – This link is to Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes, which contains the state’s laws regarding child support, modification of support orders and dissolution of marriage. This chapter defines all elements essential to child support, including parenting plans, child custody, modification and support guidelines.

Child Support Enforcement – The Judicial Hearing Officer Department for the First Judicial Circuit addresses matters relating to family law in Okaloosa, Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton counties. This link provides answers to frequently asked questions about child support in Florida and information on modification and enforcement. The Okaloosa County courthouse is located at:

Okaloosa County Courthouse
101 James Lee Blvd. East
Crestview, FL 32536
Phone: (850) 609-4700

Florida Department of Revenue – Child Support – The Child Support Enforcement Program by the Florida Department of Revenue ensures families in Florida receive the child support they need and deserve by proving paternity, acquiring child support orders, enforcing child support orders and modifying child support orders.


Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | Walton County Child Support Attorney

Are you having legal issues with your Florida child support order? You should be sure to retain legal counsel with substantial experience in family law matters.

Clay and Clayton Adkinson are experienced DeFuniak Springs family law attorneys who will make every effort to help you reduce or change your child support. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC at or submit an online form for a consultation about your child support order in Okaloosa County, Washington County, Walton County, Holmes County, Santa Rosa County, or Escambia County.