According to Florida case law, in split custody cases where each parent has income and each has custody of one of the parties’ two children, the trial court should determine the total child support obligation and each child’s share of that obligation. The court should then decide on a payment method which gives each child their respective share while ensuring that no parent pays more than their proper percentage of the total support:
In cases where each parent has income and each has custody of one of the parties’ two children, a split custody situation exists. Devereaux, 710 So.2d at 1043. The judicially accepted approach for setting child support in such cases is to determine “the total child support obligation and each child’s share of that obligation.” Gingola, 668 So.2d at 1055 n. 1; Devereaux, 710 So.2d at 1043. The trial court must then determine “the method of parental payment that gives each child his or her share while assuring that each parent pays no more than the proper percentage of the total support.” Id.
On appeal, Husband contends that the trial court should have followed the method laid out by the Second District’s opinions. Using the trial court’s determinations as to each party’s income, Husband reasons:
Basic child support for two children is $2,872.13. Each of the children should receive 50% of this amount or $1,436.06. The Husband’s share (78%) is $2,240.26; therefore he should pay the Wife $810.20 monthly, less the Wife’s share (22%) of the $250.00 monthly health insurance for the children paid by the Husband, or $55.00, leaving the Husband owing the Wife $755.20.
In response, Wife contends that the trial court had the discretion to “apply a method that it found appropriate to determine support, and there was no exclusive method of calculation,” absent adoption of such by the Legislature.
See: Kelley v. Kelley, 987 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2008)
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