In the context of family law, "support guidelines" are a set of factors used in the calculation of child support amounts. Support guidelines may be issued by the state government, or by more local government entities. They are typically available through court publications online or through private publications. They may be associated with online child support calculator websites.
One should be cautious when utilizing child support guidelines that are found online or through other sources. As guidelines, they are exactly that- simply guidelines to be used for suggesting an approximate child support figure. While the guidelines can be referred to during a child support hearing, the guidelines themselves are not meant to replace the actual calculations determined by a court through the participation of a qualified lawyer.
In some cases, the term “support guidelines” may also refer to similar guidelines for spousal support or alimony awards.
Child support guidelines may incorporate several factors, including:
Specifically, child support guidelines may focus on the discussion of “income” for child support purposes. Income can include a wide array of sources including the parent’s work wages and salary, bonuses, gifts from other people, and profits or winnings from other sources.
Lastly, one factor that support guidelines typically use is the percentage of time that each parent spends with the child in comparison with the other parent’s percentage. Generally, the parent that spends more time with the child also has majority custody, and will be awarded the custody amounts according to the support order schedule.
Each state has different laws when it comes to child support and support guidelines. If you need assistance in getting a child support award calculated, you may wish to contact a child support lawyer for advice. Your attorney can review all the factors surrounding your situation to determine the optimal amount for a support award. Also, a qualified attorney can provide assistance in the event of a lawsuit and during the actual court hearings.
Last Modified: 07-02-2018 02:41 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.