In Florida, as well as many other states, child support is determined by guidelines established by the legislature. The child support guideline amount is set out in Florida Statute 61.30 which establishes the amount the Court will award, whether in an initial dissolution of marriage proceeding requesting child support or in an application for modification.
The Court may order payment of child support which varies up to 5 percent from the guideline amount after considering all relevant factors, including the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent. In order to vary from the guideline amount more than 5 percent, the Judge must make a written finding explaining why the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.
The Court will order payment of child support which varies from the guideline amount whenever any of the children are required by court order or mediation agreement to spend a substantial amount of time with either parent. This requirement applies to any living arrangement, whether temporary or permanent.