Child Support

The Basics of Child Support

                                                                                             

The Objective

Theoretically, the Guidelines start by approximating the proportion of a family's income that would have been spent for the support of children if the family had not been divided by divorce. In general, it is a calculation based on incomes, and it does not matter what is actually spent. Whatever is left after child support can be spent however you would like to spend it”. However, as usual, nothing is ever "definite" as the details of this law are explored.

Actual Income

The "basic" child support calculation starts with each parent's "monthly actual income" before taxes.  Each parent's "monthly actual income" is then adjusted as follows:

  1. Child support payments made under an Agreement or Court Order for a child of a prior marriage are deducted from that parent's "monthly actual income".
  2. Payments for health insurance coverage for the child(ren) is deducted; (only that portion of the premium attributable to coverage for the child(ren).
  3. Payments of alimony to a former spouse are deducted.
  4. Alimony payments made to a spouse in this case are deducted by the spouse making the payments.
  5. Alimony payments received by a spouse in this case are added by the spouse receiving the payments.

Combined Actual Incomes

The combined "monthly adjusted actual" incomes of the parents are then applied to the "Chart" If the “combined monthly adjusted actual incomes" are $180,000.00 or less, the calculation of basic child support is made by referring to the chart which appears in the statute.

The Calculation

Each parent's percentage contribution to the “combined monthly adjusted actual income" is first calculated.  For instance, if the “combined monthly adjusted actual incomes" is $5,000.00, and husband contributes $3,332.00 per month (67%), husband's contribution to the basic child support will be 67% of $1,043.00 per month or $699.00 per month.  Wife's contribution to the basic child support will be 33% of $1,043.00 or $344.00 per month.  If husband has custody of the children, wife will pay the basic child support to husband.  If wife has custody of the children, husband will pay the basic child support to wife.  If there is shared custody, which means that each spends at least 35% of the overnights with the child, there is a different calculation. (See Shared Custody)

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