Basics of Child Support Calculations

Child's Toy

When parents go through a divorce, one of the most important concerns is how to support their children adequately. Child support is a legal obligation by noncustodial parents to provide financial security for their children. It is a complex issue, and the calculation process can be challenging to understand. Understanding the basics of child support calculations is essential for both parents.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Child support varies from state to state. However, most states use the income shares model to determine the amount of support. This model considers both parents' incomes and the number of children to be supported. The amount of support is generally calculated based on the following factors:

• Both parents' income

• Number of children

• Custody arrangement

• Childcare and healthcare expenses

• Any special needs of the child

Understanding Income Shares

The Income Shares model takes into account both parents' income and the percentage of time each parent has physical custody of the child. Each parent's income is combined, and a percentage of that amount is assigned to the child's support. The amount each parent is obligated to pay is based on the percentage of his or her income compared to the combined income of both parents.

What is Considered Income?

When calculating child support, the income of both parents is considered. This includes wages, salaries, tips, commissions, bonuses, and self-employment income. In addition, bonuses, overtime pay, investment income, alimony, and disability benefits are also considered. Unemployment benefits and certain government benefits are not included in the calculation.

Enforcing Child Support Obligations

Courts have several ways to enforce child support obligations, including wage garnishment, tax refunds, and seizing assets. Noncompliance with a court-ordered child support obligation can lead to serious consequences, including imprisonment and suspension of licenses.

Modifying Child Support

A parent can ask a court to modify an existing child support order if circumstances have changed significantly. This includes the loss of a job, the birth of additional children, a significant income increase, or a change in custody arrangements. It is critical to seek legal advice to ensure proper steps are taken to modify a child support order.

Bristol County Child Support Lawyer

Understanding the basics of child support calculations is essential for parents navigating the complexities of family law. If you require further guidance or legal assistance regarding child support calculations, the Law Offices of Rachel M. Matos are here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today at (508) 206-9334 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.

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