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January 07, 2009


Pamela S. Wynn

Mark the best way to get an idea of what your child support amount will be is to work though the CS Guidelines Worksheet.

I also want to note for others that if your spouse is not cooperative you can still start the case and serve the paperwork on your spouse. Officially serving your spouse with a petition is the only way to get a deadline. Once served, your spouse has 20 days to respond. If your spouse fails to respond after being served, the court has the power to enter orders.


My wife and I have been living apart for about 18 months (state of Florida), and in that time we have split 50,50, alternating weeks, custody of our little boy. She was the one who initially said she wanted a divorce and seemed, at first, open to the idea of working on a packet because we seem to agree on the terms. But in all this time, she has refused to sit down with me to go over the packet. So, I am seeking the services of an attorney in my area. My fear is that even though she makes a lot more money than I do, I will be the one paying child support. Is this unwarranted? Is there, perhaps, even a chance that she will have to pay ME child support?Before graduating college, I was also a stay-at-home dad, being our son's primary caretaker for the first four years of his life.


Ms. Wynn

Hello. Thanks for the service you provide to the DIY'ers. My question is could you please provide a reference for the current imputed income laws.

Thank you

Pamela S. Wynn

You need to seek legal advice to answer specific questions. This blog does not provide legal advice.

Here are some bits of legal information on this topic in general:

There are some laws -federal and state- that limit the amount that can be taken for support.

Once child support is set by order it does not change - even temporarily - unless both parties agree (put it in writing & sign it) or one party files a motion to request the change.

Tiffany Thompkins

Hello Pam,

My fiance and I have been together 5 years. Has a 17 year old daughter in Boston Mass. He owes $633 left for her and then will be paid off. Our bank acct is frozen as he lost his job 6 months ago and we can not afford to pay the rest in full which is required due to the amount owed left. He has another son here in FL that they take the money directly out of his unemployment and the rest he makes goes towards our mortgage. He has a daughter he has been sharing 50% custody since she has been born she is 5 years old and was also paying $200 a month and the mom has been claiming her every year for the child tax money. He still had 50% custody and after he got laid off can't pay the $200 a month. We also have a 3 year old son of our own and I have a son that I have raised on my own he is 15 and never received child support for. Since he lost his job we had to take our son out of daycare and he stays home because we can not afford anything. I am working 3 jobs to make ends meet and he applies everyday for work but no reponse. His daughters mother lives at home barley works and knows how to work the system. We still have her now 3 to 4 days a week since she has started school and give money when we can got her school stuff etc and she always has what she needs... but it is not enough for her mom. She is filing for child support and we need some idea of what he will be looking at for cost per month. His unemployment total is $700 and they take $220 or something for his first son. Can they take all our money from unemployment for his first son and his daughter leaving us with nothing. How do they calculate monies when you have 3 children one at home, one your paying for already and the other mother just filed support and my son that lives with us as well. I feel desperate please help us understand.

Pamela S. Wynn

The law doesn't provide a clear answer on this so you need legal advice.

Pamela S. Wynn

Not likely Leo. The first order gets priority under Florida law.


I was unemployed when child support was ordered here in the state of fl,the judge ordered I pay 250 a month.I now have a job but a part-time minimum wage job and I make 600 a month.I have 2 kids with 2 different women and I'm unable to help one because the court ordered me to pay so much for the other.Will the courts modify the amount so I can pay something for both kids.


My wife's ex refuses to pay for the children's school supplies. He says that what he pays child support for. Is this right or is he taking advantage of a loose definition of child support?

Pamela S. Wynn

What sort of info are you looking for?


My ex is now trying to get temporary relief of child support. He just had it modified less than a year ago and only made 7 consistent payments. He is already behind by over 50 grand. This is new to me! I already have a case with the DOR and am on unemployment. He chooses to play in a band so that his wages can not be garnished. Any one have some info or details on this. Case is in Florida.


I called my state rep concerning my CS case being modified and a DOR rep contacted me back the same day, that's what we pay our taxes for....

Pamela S. Wynn

Crazy isnt it? Florida law says that any parent who can, must work or have income imputed. Problem is, there are no guidelines for imputing an amount. You usually need expert testimony at a trial to get the proper amount.


I have 69% custody my X has 31%. I am filling out Florida child support worksheet and with X showing no income the formula states I will be paying her. With me being primary parent how in the world should I pay her? What other form due I use to counter this support scale? Is there some sort of imputed income that must be followed?

Pamela S. Wynn

Cases that go through DOR are supposed to be recalculated every 3 years for changes in income. Of course, that doesn't really happen....

And you are correct - the formula is based on the combined total of each parent's earnings and their respective percent of those earnings. Maybe he heard that under the 2011 formula, the amount of "substantial" timesharing was decreased to 73 overnights/year.


my ex is now requesting a review of our CS....after 10 years...he wants his ammount lowered (he pays $320). the problem is that he was already given a $140 reduction after i said the original ammount was to high for him to be able to live (should have been paying $460). His is requesting this because he is now $3,200 behind, and he thinks that lowering the ammount will help him. He now makes $23 an hour and i make $9. i tried to tell him that his ammount will more then likley go up...he wont listen.

Pamela S. Wynn

Sounds like you could use the info on the Divorced Parent Telesummit. Check it out http://divorcedparenttelesumit.com


Well, on the other side of the fence. I'm going through a nasty divorce and custody battle. In the temporary hearing the court said we would split 50/50. Well, he doesn't buy her clothes, pay for dr apts, pay for horseback riding apparel, or pay me back for lessons I've paid for! He says he wants her, but really he doesn't want to pay child support. Now I've lost my job, am on unemployment, am about to lose my house, and just received a termination notice for my electricity. My daughter tells me she has no jeans except the two pair I bought her, one of which is at his house and he won't give back. Because he 'doesn't have enough jeans' for her. Well here's a hint, maybe he should go buy his child clothes since he hasn't bought her any since the summer of 2010. And then he only bought a pair of shoes! He admitted in depositions. What a winner. I'm sorry, but I think the new law stinks! He is getting away with murder!! And I am about to lose everything!

Brenda Horne

My ex has gone to the DOR 3 times in the past year to try to get his child support lowered. (the only reason I had a case with DOR was to have them intercept his tax return, turns out he is now using my benefit of the DOR to ask for modification of child support without him paying court fees, lovely.) He has voluntarily quit his last 3 jobs (each one paying less than the one before) in an attempt to make a lower enough income to warrant a reduction. Now he is saying that he isn't working many hours and may have to go on unemployment. (I was unemployed for over a year and never asked him for an extra penny) Shouldn't a judge see right through this? He is fully capable of working a job that pays him the amount of money he was orginally making. He is trying to work every part of the system he can. How likely is it that the courts actually base child support on unemployment wages in a situation like this? It's so frustrating to keep dealing with this. Sometimes I feel it's on the verge of harrassment.

Pamela S. Wynn

Even a temporary reduction requires a modification petition.



I was laid-off March 2010. I have not been able to find work. I have been paying my child support from my savings, but I am running out. What forms in Florida do I need fill out for a temporary relief or adjustment?

Pamela S. Wynn

Let the Florida Department of Revenue know what's going on!


I have been laid off of work and have been unemployed since november 1st, of 2010. I have been looking for work since, but am currently receiving unemployment benefits. I owe the State of NY arrears, because my Children's Mother decided to move out there and apply for public assistance. She has since moved back to FL after a couple of months in NY. Now, she she is trying to sue me for child support here, in the state of Florida. What can I do to fight this situation, especially since I am still unemployed?? By the way, she is currently living with her boyfriend in a house that he owns. Thank you for your time.

Pamela S. Wynn

Yes Deedee, it applies to both parents. An exception would be made if she has very young children (since sometimes the cost of child care exceeds what she would make).

Remember, under the 2010 changes to the law, this amount is imputed only if the parent is not participating in the case and fails to file a financial affidavit. In other circumstances you will have to prove what she should be making, usually with a vocational expert.


Does this also go for mothers that are unemployed voluntarily? My husband pays her a lot monthly, she lives off of child support. We are going back to court to get custody of one of his sons, can they impute the same amount for her, because she doesn't work voluntarily?

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