How are child support payments calculated

how are child support payments calculated

Parental Income

  • Income may include lottery winnings, stock valuations and future income.
  • Income may also include such benefits as the use of a company car or a military housing allowance

Child Support Formulas

Each state uses a different formula to determine child support obligations. States determine child support based on:

  • The income of the parent who is obligated to pay support, with consideration to the parent's number of children, or
  • The combined income of both parents, with consideration to both parents' number of children
  • Increased medical or educational expenses
  • Special-needs children, who may incur additional expenses, such as speech therapy or expensive prescription medication
  • Recreational activities, such as a sports camps, after-school activities. etc.

States may reduce child support obligations for the following reasons:

  • A non-custodial parent's duty to support a new spouse and/or child
  • Child's new-found income, such as a large inheritance

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How the Cost of College Impacts Child Support

In most states, a child support obligation ends when a child reaches the age of majority. which is usually 18, but is age 21 in some states. The obligation to support a child in college depends on the state that orders the support. Some states may require child support though a certain age. The rationale may be that the parents would have supported the child through college, anyway, had they remained together.

Lump-Sum Child Support Obligation vs. Per Child


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