I found that too many (if not all) online Florida Child Support Calculators fail to provide accurate results. The child support amount provided by these online child support calculators, in my opinion, does not reliably predict what a judge would order at a hearing. The judges use a far more complicated program. I have tried to replicate this program in my Florida Child Support Calculator. The different results (which I have tried to correct for) come down to two reasons:
- Online calculators do not ask for your gross income. Instead, they ask for your net income and calculate child support from that number. While this is technically correct, the program that judges use asks for your gross income. The program will calculate your income tax based on your income and filing status (married, head of household, etc.). The amount of tax is added to other allowable deductions to determine your gross income.
- Many online calculators fail to take the number of nights that the children spend with each parent into account.
My calculator determines your Federal Income Tax along with your FICA-Social Security and FICA-Medicare. I don’t know if you are eligible for various federal tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, etc.). However, there is a place to enter the total amount of your tax credits (if you know that total from your tax return).
Lastly, I included a question that asks about the number of nights that a father spends with the children. This number can be higher, lower or equal to the number of nights the children spend with the Mother. The calculator then gives the rest of the nights to the Mother. In general, child support declines as the number of nights increases.