Regardless of whether you are facing a divorce or have never been married, it is important to determine which party is responsible for providing child support A common question many family law clients ask Martin County Attorney Leonard S. Villafranco is “how much child support can I expect to receive or pay after my divorce or custody proceeding is completed?” On January 1st, 2011, some very important changes took place regarding how child support is calculated. Florida Statute Section 61.30, addresses these questions, the full text of Florida’s law can be found here. In making this determination, the Court (or the parties by agreement) must first make a decision regarding timesharing. “Time-sharing” is a relatively new term in the laws of the State of Florida and to Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach County. Traditionally, the Courts have utilized terms such as “primary custody” and “visitation.” However, the State of Florida, including, Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Beach county Courts have moved away from such terms. Instead, Courts prefer the term “time-sharing” to describe the time each parent spends with their children. Each parent has an obligation to support their children. However, an obligation to actually pay child support to another party is created when one parent has the majority of time-sharing with the children. The parent with more of the time-sharing is more likely to be the parent who collects child support. That time-sharing is calculated into the child support guidelines, along with each parties’ income, allowed deductions, health insurance and child care. It is important to consult with Stuart, Port St. Lucie or Palm Beach family law attorney, Leonard S. Villafranco, who can guide you through the Florida child support process. We have provided this free child support calculator for you to use to get an estimate of the child support you may be obligated to pay or may be entitled to receive. Remember, this calculator is for estimate purposes only and is based upon the Florida Guidelines. Your child support may be higher or lower, depending on the circumstances of your particular case. To help you understand what you can expect when child support is an issue, please give us a call at the Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco at our Stuart office at (772) 288-7338 or our Port St. Lucie office at (772) 871-6441.