Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Civil Department – Family Law
3315 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 102
Naples, FL 34112-5324
Phone: (239) 252-2646
Email: Family Law

ALL CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
MUST BE MAILED TO:

Florida State Disbursement Unit (FLSDU)
PO Box 8500 
Tallahassee, FL 34101-32314

 

 

Child Support

The court may at any time order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay support to the other parent or, in the case of both parents, to a third party who has custody. Child support is a payment that is intended to pay for the child’s basic living necessities which includes the roof over the child’s head, electricity, water, food and other essentials. In many cases support also pays for health insurance. The parent that has the child(ren) the majority of the time receives support and the other parent pays support.

The Law

Florida law establishes that both parents have a duty to support their children regardless of whether they are married or living with the children. This means that courts can award child support when parents are unmarried, married and seeking divorce, or married and not seeking divorce. Simply put, if there are minor children, there is child support.

Typically, courts award temporary and permanent child support. Temporary support is awarded when a divorce is pending. Permanent support is awarded after a divorce is final. Generally speaking, FL law requires parents to support their children until they are 18 years old or until graduation from high school.

Do I Need An Attorney?

When filing for divorce with dependent minor children, child support can be an issue. It is recommended in legal proceedings that you hire an attorney due to complex legal issues. If you decide to represent yourself, it is absolutely critical that you get organized and come to court prepared. Keep records of everything and don’t rely on the Department of Revenue to have all your records. You can’t be over-prepared for legal proceedings, especially if you lack the legal background necessary to navigate the process. Utilize your available resources like law libraries and the Collier County Self-Help Center because judges are required to hold ProSe litigants to the same standards as an attorney. Judges, court staff and deputy clerks cannot provide you legal advice, only a licensed attorney can.

Determining Support Amount

Child support is formulated and controlled by your net income and Federal guidelines. Federal law requires that states provide courts with statutory guidelines to determine the appropriate monthly amount to support children. In some cases, a parent may have a reason for requesting that the amount be changed from the amount calculated in the guidelines. This is called “deviations.”

Enforcement of Child Support

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency responsible for collecting and enforcing child support.

Modifying Child Support

A modification may be requested by either parent. If the court awarded permanent support, the parent requesting the modification must show a substantial change of circumstances in either a party’s ability to pay, the child’s needs, or a change in the time-sharing schedule that changes the threshold for shared parenting. (Fees apply)

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