Divorce – Do It Right

Divorce – Do It Right

Faqs About Child Support Calculations

by Joyce Diaz

One problem that can occur when a custodial and non-custodial parent are trying to negotiate child support is determining what is fair. Ideally, both parents will reach an agreement on what is called for and submit it to the court for approval. However, if you and the other parent cannot make the decision together, a judge will. Before asking a judge to calculate the payments, here is what you need to know. 

How Does the Judge Calculate the Payments?

One of the issues that judges face is ensuring consistency when calculating child support payments for cases before them. Fortunately, the federal government has recognized the challenge that can come from this and has basically eliminated the guesswork when it comes to deciding how much is paid out each month in support. The federal government has guidelines for calculating child support that are passed onto each state and used to calculate payments. 

It is important to note that the guidelines issued to each state can vary. This is for a number of reasons, including the cost of raising a child can vary from state to state, which can have a bearing on how much a parent is required to pay. Your attorney can give you an idea of the percentage that is typically awarded in your state. 

What Factors Are Included in the Calculations?

Before factoring in any deductions for expenses, the judge has to consider the amount of income that both parents have. Depending on the state in which you live, the judge could use the gross or net income to determine how much income each parent has each month. 

Once the judge knows how much each parent earns, he or she will focus on the expenses for the child. Expenses include health insurance, childcare, school tuition, and other expenses. For instance, if you have a special needs child, and he or she has medical expenses that go beyond the amounts that are covered by the insurance, these are factored the final calculations.

If you and the other parent share custody of the child, this could also have an impact on the child support amount ordered. Even if the child spends a great deal of time with the non-custodial parent, this can be factored into the calculations. The idea is that the child incurs expenses when he or she is with either parent. As a result, if you are the parent receiving child support, the award amount could be reduced to reflect the time spent with the non-custodial parent. 

To better gauge how much you should receive in child support from the other parent or how much you should pay, talk to an experienced family attorney. He or she will be familiar with your state's guidelines for child support and can provide you with a good estimate of what you would pay or receive.

For more information, visit http://www.sjweisbrodlaw.com or a similar website.


About Me

Divorce – Do It Right

Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.