Calculating Child Support Orders

The ins and outs of the nation’s child support system appear straightforward at a glance. Non-custodial parents are generally required to pay a certain percentage of their income in child support. Seems simple, right? In reality, child support matters can be truly complex and often evolve over time, even within the context of any single family. As a result, it is generally important to seek legal guidance whenever you have questions about how child support operates. Much of the time, the ins and outs of child support may change and be adjusted to fit a family’s situation. But it is important to speak with a family attorney rather than making assumptions about how existing or future child support orders will be handled by the court. Our firm would be happy to answer any questions you have on the subject of child support and to provide you with any guidance you may require at any given time.

For example, you may have questions about how either original or modified child support orders are calculated. This is a critically important question, as it affects the lives of both parents and any children impacted by any single child support order. Many states use some form of child support calculator in order to determine the baseline of child support payments that will be owed by the parent who is required to provide such payments under the law. As an increasing number of child custody arrangements provide both of a child’s parents with joint custody, the parent who will be required to provide support is usually the parent who spends fewer calendar days with the child. However, if one parent spends less time with the child but has far fewer financial resources, the parent who spends more days with the child may be the one tasked with paying support to the other parent.

Calculating Support Orders

Child support calculators provided by the state help parents to understand what they will likely be expected to pay (or receive) in child support under current state laws. However, numerous exceptions to general rules may apply, so it is important to discuss any results you access on a given calculator with your attorney. It is also worth noting that parents may agree to an alternative to the baselines provided by a state calculator, provided that the agreement meets certain minimums and is approved by a judge.

In most cases, if you go on a state child support calculator website and input certain critical information about your family’s income, parenting time breakdown and other relevant data, you can get a sense of what a judge may insist upon when calculating initial or modified child support orders. But again, please consult your attorney after using a calculator, as exceptions may apply in your situation.

Child Support Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about how child support is calculated generally or how it may ultimately be calculated in your case, please consider connecting with our firm today. After learning about your specific circumstances, we will be able to answer your questions and advise you of any legal options that may be available to you. Child support tends to be calculated according to guidelines that may be impacted by any number of relevant factors. Please schedule a consultation today so that we can help you explore any details of your family’s circumstances that may impact your child support orders.