Tampa Child and Medical Support Orders | Hillsborough County Child and Medical Support Family Law Lawyer

Supporting a child after divorce is a parent's duty. Talk to a qualified Tampa child support and medical support attorney now.

Raising a child requires a great deal of emotional support and encouragement. It also requires a great deal of financial support, and care for medical needs.

In Florida, a family court can order either or both parents to pay for a child's financial and medical support. The child support ends when the child turns 18 and graduates from high school, turns 19, dies, or is emancipated--whichever happens first. The court may extend child support if the child has special needs or a disability, or if the child attends college or other post-secondary education. The court can also order payment of temporary child support while a divorce is going on until it is finalized. Once the court makes those orders, it can enforce them by contempt if necessary (meaning a violation can result in a fine and jail time). There are many provisions that enable collection of child support including an income reduction order to pay from wages or salary, acceleration of unpaid support, entering an order binding on an employer (garnishment), and other methods. If you have had problems collecting child support or you want to change the amount of your child support, call a capable Tampa child support lawyer on this page for immediate help.

Calculating Child Support

Calculating child support under Florida's guidelines involves many factors. When determining the amount of child support to be paid, Florida family courts 1) look at the gross monthly resources of both parents; 2) apply child support guidelines to determine the amount that is presumed to be in the best interests of the child; and 3) consider any other factors that might justify payment of an amount different from the guidelines.

Income is determined on a monthly basis for each parent including: 

  • Salary or wages
  • Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments
  • Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. "Business income" means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income
  • Disability benefits
  • All workers' compensation benefits and settlements
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Pension, retirement, or annuity payments
  • Social security benefits
  • Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court
  • Interest and dividends
  • Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income
  • Income from royalties, trusts, or estates
  • Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses
  • Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring

Gross monthly income does not include:

  • Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, adjusted for actual filing status and allowable dependents and income tax liabilities
  • Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax
  • Mandatory union dues
  • Mandatory retirement payments
  • Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child
  • Court-ordered support for other children which is actually paid
  • Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a previous marriage or the marriage before the court

The court adds together both parents' net income. The child support amount is found using the chart in the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Locate the combined net monthly income of the parents. Then go across the column to find the number of minor, dependent children to find the basic child support amount.

Deviation from Child Support Guidelines

The amount of child support under the Florida guidelines is presumed to be the correct amount. A court may order payment of child support which varies, plus or minus 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. The judge may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from the guideline amount only with a written explanation why the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.

The court may adjust the total minimum child support award, or either or both parents' share of it based on extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses; the child's income (except supplemental security income); the child's age, special needs or disability; total available assets of the parents and child; impact of the Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver; other child support obligations; the time a child spends with each parent; and other factors.


In Tampa how much can you expect to receive to cover your child's medical care after divorce? Call a well-qualified Tampa child support and medical support attorney for answers.

Work Related Child Care Costs, Health Insurance Premiums, and Uninsured Health Care Costs - Additional Support Obligations

Additional expenses for the child's health insurance premiums and work related child care costs must be included in the calculations to determine child support. Child care costs due to employment, job search, or education of either parent, health insurance costs, and any noncovered medical, dental, and prescription medication expenses of the child, must be added to the basic child support amount.  However, prepaid child care and health insurance costs must be deducted from that parent's child support obligation.

How do I modify my child support payments?

Florida allows modification of child support based on a substantial change of conditions in either parent's income and financial status, or the needs of the child. For example, this can happen when a child becomes disabled or requires extraordinary education, a parent receiving child support in Florida believes the other parent is not paying enough according to his or her job and income, or the paying parent loses a job, takes a job making less, or has some other experience that affects his or ability to pay child support. The difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines must be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court can find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.

Whatever your situation, you should contact a skilled Tampa divorce lawyer or family lawyer to help you understand the policies and procedures behind the child support system.

Raising a child is very expensive. Please use the Child Cost Calculator to estimate the cost. If you are moving into the Tampa area after divorce, you may need to find, depending upon the ages of your children, either child care centers or public or private schools. A helpful link to locate grade schools is the National Center for Educational Statistics.

DotCO has provided a quick list of both below:

Tampa Bay Downtown Pre-School & Daycare
1415 N. Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Just For Kids Learning Center
3905 Regnas Avenue
Tampa, FL 33604
La Petite Academy
3818 W. Humphrey Street
Tampa, FL 33614
Mother Goose Day Nursery Inc.
3407 N. Habana Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
Today's Child
2150 W. M.L.K Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33607
Little Wonders Learning Center
7916 N. Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614
Creative World
8404 Claonia Street
Tampa, FL 33614
Academy Learning Center, Inc.
6704 N. Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614
Academy For Tots
2501 W. Crawford Street
Tampa, FL 33614
Chamberlain High School
9401 North Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 975-7677
Middleton High School
4801 N. 22nd Street
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 233-3360
Leto High School
4409 W. Sligh Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 872-5300
Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High School
11602 N. 15th St.
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 971-5600
Erwin Technical Center
2010 E. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 231-1800
Wharton High School
20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33647
(813) 631-4710
Alonso High School
8302 Montague Street
Tampa, FL 33635
(813) 356-1525
Sickles High School
7950 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33626
(813) 631-4742
Plant High School
2415 S. Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33629
(813) 272-303


Your Tampa family lawyer will help to make sure you avoid any costly errors or penalties related to child support that could remain on your records for years.  Contact a well-qualified Tampa family lawyer today for a free consultation regarding your child support issues.

Serving clients throughout Western Florida, including Bloomingdale, Brandon, Clearwater, Dunedin, Egypt Lake-Leto, Feather Sound, Gibsonton, Largo, Lealman, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Palm River, Pinellas Park, Riverdale, Safety Harbor, St. George, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Town ‘N’ Country, Westchase, areas in the vicinity of MacDill AFB, Tampa International Airport, and other communities in Hillsborough County.