The amount of money a custodial parent receives and a non-custodial parent pays in monthly child support varies from state to state and depends upon the facts in each case. Generally, child support is paid to the parent to whom custody has been awarded primarily, however that isn’t always the case. Child support may also be paid to the noncustodial parent who has visitation rights or spends significantly less time with the child(ren), but has low or no income, while the custodial parent has an income.
The family courts in each state follow statutory guidelines established by the particular state’s legislature to determine the amount of child support paid and thankfully, those guidelines have been simplified into standard calculations and automated calculators. Child support guidelines usually consist of rather complex formulas that take into consideration, many different factors.
Some of the factors taken into account in most states include the following:
- Number of minor children who need support
- Monthly incomes of the custodial and non-custodial parent
- Amount of court ordered support paid by either parent for child support or alimony for prior relationships
- Monies paid by the custodial or non-custodial parent for health insurance premiums
- Percent of time non-custodial parent spends with child(ren)
- Amount of court ordered child support or alimony paid or received by either parent from prior relationships
- Money either party pays for child care expenses
- Tax credits and deductions that affect either parent’s monthly income
- Assets owned by either parent that are or could be generating income
Factors considered vary from state to state thus it’s essential to use your specific state’s calculators when trying to determine the amount of support in your case.
To find an online child support calculator based on your state’s child support guidelines visit our State Resources page, select your State from the menu, and click on the link for your state’s child support calculator. (Please note: some states like California do not have a child support calculator available online, but usually provide calculators at the court’s self help centers located at the court house.
The child support calculators estimated payments are not a guarantee of money you’ll receive or pay nor are they automatically legally binding figures. The ultimate decision for the amount of child support to be paid must be made by your state court, court administrators, or hearing officer.
The benefit of using a child support calculator is to provide you with a general idea of the amount you may receive or pay, and the factors that are considered in your state.
Regardless of what the child support guidelines say, do your best to provide all you can for your child.
This article is not legal or financial advice. You should contact a lawyer, accountant and/or financial professional in your state to discuss the specifics or your case and applicable laws.