- Gross Monthly Income: Obviously, the single greatest determiner of your child support payments will be your salary. Usually the courts will divide your monthly salary into weekly amounts, factor in the number of children you have, and then apply a formula to it to arrive at your basic child support amount (which can then be modified by other factors). This usually comes up with a set amount plus a percentage.
- Number of Children: The number of children you have is certainly important, but it is generally not used as a multiplier. That is, the amount you must pay for one child will not usually double or triple for two or three children. The increase will be determined by computing a formula.
- Custody and Visitation: Some States, like Oregon, also employ complex formulas factoring in the amount of visitation time each parent is given. These "visitation time credits" can be used to lower the child support payments.
- Age of the Children: Often, Children above a certain age (usually 12) will be entitled to more than the basic child support amount. Some states increase the final amount by 10%, for instance. Child support is usually not allowed after the child's 18th birthday (some exceptions to this rule, such as if the child has not graduated high school), and almost never after his 20th birthday.
- Health Insurance: The court will definitely inquire as to whether either parent has health insurance that will cover the child, and will generally lower the amount of payments necessary for the parent providing the coverage.
- Potential Earning Capacity: Almost every state gives judges the discretion to look at the non-custodial parent's earning potential, instead of his actual salary. That is, if you are earning far less than you could be (such as an engineer working at McDonalds for no good reason), the court will use your potential salary (that you could be making) to calculate the child support. But if there is a good reason for your choice of job, (such as working part time because you are caring for an infant), the judge will certainly take that into account as well.
- Subsequent Families: In instances where the non-custodial parent has remarried and has children by a subsequent marriage, most courts will examine such circumstances closely to determine if further obligations would be unfair to the parent. Subsequent families can be used as a defense to requests for a child support increase, but will almost never be allowed as evidence in a request to decrease past support obligations.
Child Support Amount Calculations
How Much Is Child Support?
Last Modified: 2018-07-12 18:05:07