How Do I Get Child Support in Florida?

Children are expensive -- whether it's daycare, braces, violin lessons, or just the day-to-day expenses like food and clothing. But when you're a single parent, these costs can really sting, which is why it's so important to ensure that the noncustodial parent contributes their fair share. There are some basic, universal procedures for getting child support, but each works in different ways. So for those wondering how to get child support in Florida, the following information will point you in the right direction.

Getting Child Support in Florida

There are two basic ways to get child support in Florida, which will depend on your particular situation, as it can either be:

  1. Ordered during a divorce case; or
  2. Ordered by filing a support petition in family court (typically for unmarried parents).

Payments are made (by the noncustodial parent) and received (by the custodial parent) through the Florida Department of Revenue.

How to Get Child Support in Florida: The Basics

If you're working hard just to put food on the table and cover the rent on a shoestring budget, you probably have neither the time nor inclination to decipher legalese. We believe in making the law accessible to everyone, which is why we've included the helpful, plain-English summary of Florida child support laws and procedures below.

Statute

Florida Statutes, Civil Practice and Procedure ยง 61.29, et seq.

How to File a Child Support Petition

  1. Fill out the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet and your Financial Affidavit (if you know the other party's income). Otherwise, fill out the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet after the other party files their Financial Affidavit and serves a copy on you.
  2. File the forms with the clerk of the circuit court (make copies for yourself).
  3. Serve a copy of your Child Support Guidelines Worksheet on the other party.
  4. The court will order child support based on the parents' gross income and the number of children involved, and then will allocate a percentage of the net income to be paid by each parent.

If you want to keep your address confidential because you are the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence, do not enter the address, telephone, and fax information at the bottom of this form. Instead, file a Request for Confidential Filing of Address form.

Need to Modify a Support Order?

If you have experienced a substantial change in income or circumstances, you may file a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support with the court.

Need to Establish Paternity?

If the father has acknowledged his parentage, then you may proceed with the petition for support (see form below). Otherwise, you will need to establish paternity first by filing a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief.

Child Support Forms

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

How to Get Child Support in Florida: Related Resources

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Florida Child Support Claim

If you're seeking child support, you know that time is of the essence and that caring for kids is not cheap. And although the prospect of hiring an attorney may cause financial anxiety, it's often in your best interests to do so. If you need legal help with your child support claim, contact an experienced Florida child support attorney today.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.