In the state of Florida, a judge can order either parent to pay a “fair” amount of child support in cases involving a divorce or in situations between unmarried parents. The decision will be based on the specifics of the case. Florida has very specific child support guidelines that the courts use to calculate the amount of child support required based on the best interest of the child
These guidelines are generally followed, unless an agreement has been reached by the parents on their own as to a fair and reasonable amount of child support (as determined by the court), or in cases that involve other pertinent factors, such as unusual medical, educational, psychological or dental expenses, the independent income of the child, the seasonal variations in a parent’s income, whether or not the custodial parent gets both child and spousal support, and any other relevant or unusual circumstances present.
With respect to the length of time that child support will be required to be paid, in Florida, if you have an unmarried child who reaches the age of 18 and is a full-time high school student who lives with one of the parents, the parents will be required to maintain their respective support obligations if the child needs it, until such time as the child finishes the 12th grade or turns 19, whichever comes first. Child support and custody orders from the court are subject to change or they can be modified based on any major changes in income (up or down), and/or the living arrangements of the children.
While it is true that all orders regarding the children are modifiable in the future, we would strongly suggest that you not enter into any agreement based on the fact that it can always be changed later. As is the case in most states, Florida has a provision for taking child support directly from the wages of the parent who has been ordered to provide support, and it will be withheld much like income tax is from earnings. This method of paying and receiving child support is typically easier for both parties and is deemed to be a pretty dependable solution in the long run.