Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

What type of income is credited to a parent in calculating Florida child support? The answer is, pretty much all income. As illustrated in the case Schafstall v. Clifford-Schafstall, 211 So.3d 1108 (Fla. 2017), payments made toward living expenses by a third party on behalf of a parent can be credited to a parent for purposes of calculating child support. 

The former wife was awarded exclusive use and possession of the marital home and the former husband was ordered to pay the monthly mortgage on the property. Evidence was presented that the former wife previously worked as a bookkeeper part-time but that she was terminated prior to the trial. There was also testimony that the former wife’s cell phone bill was being paid by her mother. 

For purposes of calculating child support, the trial court credited to the former wife the mortgage payments being made on her behalf, part of the income she earned at her previous job and the amount her mother paid for her cell phone. The former wife appealed these imputations of income, and the appellate court upheld them, holding there was competent, substantial evidence to support the income credited to the former wife. Further, the appellate court found that in the face of the evidence presented, the trial court was required to impute the income to the former wife.

When a parent’s living expenses are being paid by a third party and/or the parent is voluntarily underemployed/unemployed, Florida child support laws allow the payments and/or potential income to be credited to the parent in calculating child support. Through a consultation with a Miami child support lawyer, Florida child support guidelines can be drafted to go over how the court may determine support payments in your case.