Child support is an important protection for your children. It is financial support that is there to provide for the necessities and other things they need. From educational costs to food and clothing, child support covers a portion of all of those needs.
Child support is determined by looking at factors such as:
- Monthly child care payments
- Net monthly income
- Dental, prescription and medical payments not covered by insurance
- The total number of nights the children will stay with each parent
Of these, one of the most important factors is how often the children will stay overnight with each parent. Children who stay overnight with one parent the majority of the time should be receiving child support payments from the other parent who they see less often in most cases.
How much child support will you pay?
If you have been informed that you will need to pay child support, you should know that there are state guidelines that may give you a better idea of what to expect. To calculate support, you can look at the state’s current guidelines.
For example, if two parents have a combined monthly net income of $2,300, then one child will receive a minimum of $505 in child support based on the guidelines. With a combined income of only $800, that child should receive $190.
The amount is not doubled when children are added. Instead, a proportionate amount is added to help cover the additional costs of a second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth child. Beyond this, there are no specific guidelines.
For example, if the parents have a combined income of $2,450 and have six children, then the children should receive $1,367 in support. If the parents earn a combined income of $1,750, then the children should receive $996.
Parents can work out a different support amount that works for them outside of court, but this is something that should be discussed with your attorney. Remember that guidelines are only guiding you on what the state thinks is fair, but they do not necessarily take into consideration all of the factors involved in your case.