If you are concerned that you may have to pay child support, or want to know what amount the other parent may have to pay to you, you should use a child support calculator or formula to estimate the amount that might be owed.
Each state’s child support calculator or formula involves slightly different factors, but there are some things that are common to all states. One of those things is the income calculation. The non-custodial parent’s income will definitely be looked at in order to determine the amount of the child support payment. However, the income of the parent that has custody may also be considered.
For example, if the custodial parent has a full-time job and the non-custodial parent only has a part-time job, or no job at all, a judge may order a very low child support payment. In some cases, the judge may find that no child support has to be paid at all.
Some states will consider the expenses (regular bills) that one or both parents have to pay. A child support payment may go up or down, depending on which parent has to pay more bills. However, many states don’t consider regular bills when determining child support.
In some states, the child support calculator also factors in time spent with the child. For example, in the state of Tennessee child support is primarily determined by the income of the non-custodial parent. However, the percentage paid could go up if the child spends less than 55 nights per year with that parent. If, on the other hand, the child spends more than 110 nights per year with that parent, the parent may not have to pay as much child support.
Medical needs of the child are also considered in many states. If the child has physical or emotional problems that require therapy or medication, the non-custodial parent may need to pay a higher amount in child support. However, not all states have the same rules or formulas regarding the child’s medical needs.
The Child’s Income and Assets
The child’s income and assets may also be a factor. For example, if he or she is a teenager with a part-time job, the non-custodial parent may not have to pay as much child support. Also, if the child has inherited a large sum of money from a relative, child support payments may be reduced.
Finding and Using a Child Support Calculator
Many websites list links to child support calculators for each state. One of those websites is http://www.dadsdivorce.com/child-support-calculators-mainmenu-40. Once you go to such a site, just choose your state. Then you will be prompted to put in information about your income and other child support information in order to get an estimate of what you will owe or be paid by the other parent. However, it is important to keep in mind that the child support calculator can only give you an estimate. The real amount will be determined by the court.