Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Child Support is calculated in Florida applying various deductions each parent is entitled to claim in determining a parent’s net income. For example, aside from taxes, medicare and social security deductions, a parent is entitled to credit for health insurance premiums and support payments made for other children. In one recent case, we see how the appellate court reviewed an appeal of a child support order that included these deductions.

In the case DOR v. Magloire, 1D17-4595 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the Department of Revenue appealed an administrative law judge’s child support order on three bases: (1) that the mother was not properly credited for health insurance premiums she paid for herself; (2) that the father was not properly credited for health insurance premiums he pays for himself and his family; and (3) that retroactive child support was incorrectly calculated because it included a deduction for a separate child support order not yet in existence.

As to the first claim regarding the mother’s health insurance, the appellate court ruled the record showed the mother actually was credited for her health insurance premiums. As to the father’s insurance premiums, the appellate court noted that it was the father’s responsibility to raise an objection regarding the same - the adverse party, DOR, could not raise an objection on his behalf for this error.

Last, as to the retroactive child support, the court ruled it was error for the administrative law judge to grant father a credit for a child support order that was not yet in existence - in calculating the retroactive support, the administrative law judge deducted from the father’s gross income child support he claimed to be paying for other children. This resulted in a lower net income for the father for purposes of calculating child support, and thus a lower retroactive support number. The appellate court held, “Here, the [administrative law judge] applied the deduction to an eight-month period of time before the support order for [the father’s] other children went into effect. Further, there is no indication in the record that [the father] actually made these support payments for his other children, a prerequisite to receiving the deduction. See Dep't of Revenue ex relWalker vCody, 131 So. 3d 823 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014). For these reasons, we reverse the portion of the order awarding retroactive child support and remand for recalculation of the retroactive child support award.”

Making sure you receive all deductions to which you are entitled in calculating child support is important no matter what side of the case you fall on. A consultation with a Miami child support attorney may help you understand what rights and remedies are available to you in your case. Contact one today.