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Deviation Factors

Everyone’s situation is unique. In some unique situations, the guideline amount of child support may not be appropriate because it fails to take into account a particular issue or situation. For example, if the children require extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental or if the children have special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of the child.

To account for these unique situations, the court is allowed to adjust the total minimum child support, or either or both parents’ share of the total minimum child support award, based upon the following deviation factors:

  1. Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
  2. Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.
  3. The payment of support for a parent which has been regularly paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.
  4. Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
  5. The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
  6. Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.
  7. Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.
  8. The impact of the Internal Revenue Service Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.
  9. An application of the child support guidelines schedule that requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.
  10. The particular parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.
  11. Any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt that the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.

Fla. Stat. § 61.30(11)(a). Deviations and adjustments in the amount of child support are typically complex issues. When considering where the amount of child support should be deviated upward or downward, consult with an experienced Orlando or Tampa divorce lawyer. 

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