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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Florida is Generally Following Statutory Child Support Guidelines; Deviations are Limited, Report No. 17-11, November 2017
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  • OPPAGA found that statutory child support guidelines are generally being followed for the Title IV-D and private cases that we were able to review. Specifically, our review of administrative and Title IV-D judicial cases and private cases found that the guidelines and guideline schedule were used to establish the child support obligation amount.
  • Child support guideline worksheet calculations were generally correct for Title IV-D administrative and private cases. However, the quality and type of data available varied across the Title IV-D and private systems. Specifically, inconsistent and unreliable data made it difficult to confirm the accuracy of guideline calculations for Title IV-D judicial cases. The Department of Revenue may wish to collaborate with the state court system to resolve variation in worksheets used and the interpretation of data elements on the worksheets.
  • Deviations from the guidelines were limited in Title IV-D and private child support cases and when deviations occurred, they were mostly below the guideline amounts. For Title IV-D administrative cases, only 2.6% of cases deviated from guideline calculations. Similarly, the deviation rate for Title IV-D judicial cases was low, at 4.9%. In addition, we found that only 5.5% of cases showed clear evidence of deviating from child support guidelines in private cases.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Child Support Enforcement

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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