At the heart of child support determination is the assessment of the ability of the parent with the majority of the time-sharing to pay for the child’s education, food and clothing, health care, etc. The court will look at the incomes of both parents, as well as their liabilities and regular expenses, and make a fair decision based on all factors. In Florida, either parent can choose to contest the determination of child support, but the judge rules on actual need, based on a mathematical formula. Parents cannot simply decide what they wish to pay in Florida; both are also required to contribute to the financial needs of the child/children.
Alimony payments in Florida are based largely on both the length of the marriage and the income both have the potential to earn, and can be granted to either party. Alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, for a specific duration or permanent – or any combination of these forms. After the court has determined that there is a need for alimony and ability to pay, the court will look to Florida Statute 61.08 for determinant factors, such as age, physical condition of either spouse, etc., in making the final alimony determination.