Talking About Family Attorney Services

Talking About Family Attorney Services

How Much Can I Expect Child Support To Be?

Norman Kelly

If you and your spouse are divorcing and have minor children, one of you will likely be ordered to pay child support. Unless you and your spouse agree to shared or 50/50 custody and both of you make the exact same amount of money, child support will be ordered. It may help to understand what factors go into the child support calculations so that you can plan ahead and budget for the future, so read on to learn more about how child support amounts are determined.

Federal Guidelines

The family courts, charged with taking the best interest of the child into account in all matters relating to minor children, abide by federal guidelines based on each state's median income. This provision takes some of the guesswork out of predicting child support amounts, but there are so many other factors affecting these calculations that the numbers revealed in the calculation should only be viewed as a starting point.

Factors Affecting Calculations

  • Parent's income: Some states use gross and some use net income, but normally the higher earner of the two parents will be required to pay child support.
  • Standing orders: If one of the parents has been ordered to pay child support to a child of a previous relationship, that amount may be deducted from the income for calculation purposes. It should be noted that parents can always contribute more than the ordered amount, but only the ordered amount can be used to reduce income for the calculation in the present support issue. Additionally, the support payments pertaining to the previous order must be up to date to use it as a deduction.
  • Childcare expenses: The parent paying for the expense of daycare or babysitting can deduct that expense from their income. In many states, the parent responsible for paying this expense is ordered to do so in the divorce decree.
  • Health insurance: Similarly to the child care issue above, most divorce decrees will include a provision designating the parent responsible for ensuring that the minor child has health insurance coverage and that parent may deduct the amount of the premium from the child support calculation.
  • Other issues: Parents who have a special needs child may be able to deduct the extra expense required for their care from their income. For example, special transportation for the child, modifications to a vehicle (chair lift) or the extra cost of private schooling are some commonly-needed expenses for some children with special needs. 

Making a Change

The child support issue remains open after your divorce, with no order or agreement that concerns the welfare of a minor child ever considered a permanent issue. The family courts understand and expect that jobs, income and related factors change from time to time, so requesting a hearing for a child support modification can be accomplished fairly easily through your family court with an attorney.

To learn more about how child support is calculated in your area, contact a family law attorney such as Karie L. Sanoba, Attorney at Law.


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Talking About Family Attorney Services

Hi there, my name is Jeremy. Welcome to my website about family attorney services. When I was in a custody battle for my son, I had to hire a high quality family attorney in my area. I was an emotional mess throughout the custody battle due to the way the courts handled the case. My attorney helped me work through the case requirements to net a positive outcome for my situation. I will use this site to discuss the immense benefits of hiring legal representation for family court cases. I hope my site will help you navigate this tough process. Thanks for visiting.