Child Support Formula

The child support formula will differs from person to person. Many people attempt to guess what the child support formula is only to find out that they were wrong.

There is a formula that the courts use in each state but depending on the situation the judge may stick to the child support formula or adjust it in your favor.

If you’re seeking child support payments one of the first things you must understand is that for the most part, the money is calculated according to the children’s expenses.

Most states require you to be working, seeking work or going to school in order to get child support. Why, because the amount of child support that you will receive is based off what you bring to the table–money wise–as well.

The child support formula establishes the support obligations of you and your former partner.

Determining Income – The first part of the formula used to calculate child support payments is net income. The judge can use all of the following things to determine what the actual income is of your former partner.

This list includes wages, overtime pay, commissions, bonuses, payments from profit-sharing, a pension or retirement, an insurance contract, an annuity, trust fund, deferred compensation, retirement account, social security, unemployment compensation, supplemental unemployment benefits, disability insurance or benefits, or worker’s compensation, tips, gratuities, royalties, interest, dividends, fees, or gambling or lottery winnings.

Most states have a potential earnings clause within the child support formula for people who try to stay under employed in an attempt to get away with lower payments. The clause takes into account the prior work history, education, availability of work and even the persons current marital status.

Figuring Parenting Obligations – In this part of the child support formula both parents income are compared individually and together to determine the support obligations. This part also takes into account who has the children the most as well. Each state is a little different but most calculate this by where the child sleeps at night or by who spends the most time with the children.

Here’s a quick example: Say you went to court and set up child support payments as well as set up a visitation schedule. Lets say the schedule allowed 60 days throughout the year that the child could stay overnight at the other parents house. If the child stays 120 days and the other person has proof, most courts will lower the child support payment obligations if brought before them.

Medical – Support Formula

Medical obligations are a part of the child support formula but don’t include things like cough medicine and vitamins. Medical includes visual, dental, treatments, services, equipment and other medical expenses. Generally when you go before the court to request child support the judge will order one of the parents to obtain reasonable insurance.

Child Care Obligation – This part of the child support payment formula basically covers daycare cost. If you work or are going to school to get a job, you can receive higher child support payments.

You have to demonstrate a consistent pattern of child care. A day or week here and there throughout the year won’t be enough. The courts may require you to provide proof that you are working or attending classes. They may also want to see receipts from daycares that show that you paid them out of pocket.

Third Party Guardianship – This part of the child support formula deals with other people who have custody of your children. Even if it is either of your parents, if the matter is brought before the court, you and your former partner will more than likely have to both pay child support to the parents. You and the former spouse will be made responsible for all medical and health related cost as well.

Child Support Formula Deviation – As I mentioned in the first part of this article, there are things that can decrease and increase your child support payments. The judge has to apply the basics of the formula but he or she can also alter it with explanation.

If the child has high school tuition, a parent is a minor or the child has special needs are a few of the things that can increase your child support payments. On the other side of the coin incarceration, extraordinary medical expenses, high levels of debt and even the fact that your child has a job earning above average income can be reasons to lower your child support payments.

I thought that the child support formula was just a little adding and subtracting turns out, it’s not. Sure, you can represent yourself during a child support hearing but I would recommend appearing as professional as possible.

If you know that your former partner is the type that will get out of hand in court, hire a lawyer and let him or her do the talking for you. If you misrepresent yourself, you could end up being the one who has to pay child support.

Tips: To find a printable version of your states child support formula visit their website. Under the section that deals with courts, you should find their child support formula.