How is child support determined and is it based on how much you make? 37 Answers as of August 22, 2011

My ex and I have no child support agreement. We have joint custody but he has physical legal custody. If I were to have to pay him child support if we were to have to go to court, how is it determined?

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Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
Most California Court's use the program called "DissoMaster" to calculate child support. It is a very complicated calculation which is based primarily on how much money each party earns and how much time each party spends with their child(ren). The DissoMaster requires a lot of other information to be considered, including, but not limited to the following: a) your tax filing status and how many exemptions you claim; b) how many children you have with the other parent; c) taxable vs. non-taxable income (wages, self-employment income, interest, dividends, rental income, capital gains, losses, etc.; d) your itemized deductions such as mortgage payment, property taxes, medical expenses, charitable contributions, etc.; e) whether you are remarried; f) adjustments to income; g) who pays health insurance and how much it costs; h) hardships; and i) other miscellaneous items and expenses. This is a very complicated area of the law and you should consult with a Family Law Attorney or Accountant to discuss these issues in more detail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2011
The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
There is a standard formula for support based on relative income, timeshare, and other factors. Usually this is calculated using child support software.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/12/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Child support is based on income (net resources - meaning all income less single one taxes) of the non-custodial parent. There is a chart that tells the amount. 20% for the first child, 5% for each additional child. There are deductions if there are other children not before the court.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Child support in Connecticut is based on income, not expenses. There is a child support guideline booklet that is available in the court that would better explain the process.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Yes, it is based on the combined gross income of both parties.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    It is based upon 17% of gross income to the parent with physical placement in Wisconsin. Other states calculate it different. If placement is shared (anything over 25% time) then another formula is used.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Child support is based on two factor, the income of both parents, and the parenting time exercised by each parent.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Alabama Rule of Judicial Administration 32. Google it and you can find a child support calculator on line. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Generally, child support is based on your combined income and paid in accordance with support guidelines including the child's age. The person receiving support is typically the primary parent (i.e., the parent that has the most overnights with the child in a calendar year).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Child support in Louisiana is determined on the income shares method. The court will take each party's gross income per month, add it together to come to a figure on the Child Support Guidelines table. That number will generate a Basic Child Support Obligation. The BSO will be divided by the parties on a pro-rata basis, based on each party's percentage of the total income. The party who has the primary custody of the children will be paid by the party who has mostly visitation. There are certain exceptions based on whether the non-custodial parent has extra visitation. If the parties share custody on a 50-50 or near 50-50 basis, a different calculation is used completely.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Child support in Washington is based upon several factors. Some of these are: how much each of the parents makes, the number of children, the ages of the children, the cost of work related daycare, the cost of health insurance for the children, and several other factors. All of this goes into a program that calculates the child support amount. The state has a calculator program available to the public at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/csips/ssgen
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    New Jersey uses a pretty complicated calculation, with a lot of factors. Most of it is based on your income and his income.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    If he has the child most of the time, it would be a straight percentage of your gross income (17% for one child, 25 for 2, 29 for 3)
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    It is determined by the Child Support Guidelines and based on your monthly gross salary as well as your ex's monthly gross salary
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, in Georgia, the child support guidelines are based upon each party's gross income, along with a number of other factors. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    There is a child support worksheet at http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms_instructions/ud-8.pdf . That being said, having an attorney is important. Your attorney will make sure your unique circumstances are taken into account. The child support guidelines law lists 10 factors that should be considered in deciding on the amount of child support for to vary the numerical result of these steps because the result is "unjust or inappropriate". These factors are: 1. The financial resources of the parents and the child. 2. The physical and emotional health of the child and his/her special needs and aptitudes. 3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage or household was not dissolved. 4. The tax consequences to the parents. 5. The non-monetary contributions the parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child. 6. The educational needs of the parents. 7. The fact that the gross income of one parent is substantially less than the gross income of the other parent. 8. The needs of the other children of the non-custodial parent for whom the non-custodial parent is providing support, but only (a) if Line 23 is not deducted; (b) after considering the financial resources of any other person obligated to support the other children; and (c) if the resources available to support the other children are less then the resources available to support the children involved in this matter. 9. If a child is not on public assistance, the amount of extraordinary costs of visitation (such as out-of-state travel) or extended visits (other than the usual two to four week summer visits), but only if the custodial parent's expenses are substantially reduced by the visitation involved. 10. Any other factor the court decides is relevant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Child support is generally determined by the Child Support Guidelines utilized by the particular state where the child and custodial parent reside. Information on these guidelines for the particular state involved in readily available on the Internet. M.E.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    Child support is determined from the Child Support Guideline chart you can find here, scroll down to the charts. http://courts.arkansas.gov/aoc/acs_guidelines.cfm If you have joint custody and have the children more than the standard visitation schedule you might have some of your child support abated, and if you have your children 50% of the time there should be no child support.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    Child support is determine on the income of each of the parties as well as the timeshare that each parent has with the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California courts have been operating under a support guideline since 1984. The formula is driven by 3 key factors: gross incomes of the parties, percentage of time share and tax advantages or disadvantages that impact available income for support. Attorneys that regularly practice family law have this software program in their office computers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The child support formula is found in the Ohio Revised Code and is fairly complicated. Please see a domestic relations attorney for the most complete answer to this question.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    The short answer is that the court calculates the Child Support Guidelines based upon each party's respective earnings (or earning capacities). However, other factors are relevant such as: other dependent children, who pays for health insurance, Shared Physical Custody, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, child support is calculated based in large part on the income of both parties. This information is placed into a child support calculator which can be found at https://services.georgia.gov/dhr/cspp/do/public/SupportCalc
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Child support is based on the net incomes of both parties, and also takes into account any childcare expenses, child's health insurance costs, and any uncovered child's medical expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Child support is determined by a formula that takes into consideration both parties' income, whether they provide any insurance for the children, and other similar things for the children. To answer this question adequately, it is best to seek counsel from a licensed attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Georgia uses income shares, which is a calculation that uses both your incomes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Child support is determined by many financial figures that are entered into a spreadsheet and then a child support number is determined. It's fairly complicated - you need to consult with a lawyer regarding the exact financial figures you would need to provide and then have the lawyer run the spreadsheet.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Child support is determined from the combined gross income of the parents, subject to certain possible adjustments. (For example, if day care is required for one of you to work, the cost of day care is added into the calculation and will increase the total parental support obligation). The total parental support obligation is divided between the parents in proportion to their respective shares of the total income and is partly determined by the amount of Parenting Time with each parent. The parent with whom the child resides less than a majority of the time usually must pay her share to the parent where the child resides the majority of the time. However, depending on the exact circumstances, it is mathematically possible that the parent with higher income might have to pay something to the other parent, regardless of where the child resides the majority of the time. The Court is required to compute child support using the statutory guidelines and it is rare for a court to approve any lower amount - no matter what the parents agree to. Your use of the terms "joint custody" and "physical legal custody" are meaningless terms in Colorado and until there is a court approved Parenting Plan, those terms are not binding or significant.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Child support is determined by a percentage of your net income. If you have one child, the support amount would be 20% of your net, if you have more children, the percentage goes up.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    Child support is based on many factors-the main ones being: 1) # of minor children of the relationship; 2) total income of mother; 3) total income of father; 4) percentage of visitation time for the non-custodial parent (usually, but not always, the dad); 5) tax-filing status; etc. These are the main factors; however, there are others-so, it's important to speak to an attorney to determine, as best as possible, the figure the court will calculate for child support. Google the word "California Dissomaster" and you should be able to find the calculator that the courts use to calculate child support. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Child support is calculated pursuant to a statutory formula that considers several factors, including each parent's income, the cost of the child's insurance, the cost of child care (if any) and the parenting time arrangement.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It is determined based on the income and time share. The only way to really calculate support is to use a pre approved support calculator. You can go to California department of child support and use their calculator.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington, the standard calculation is based on incomes and the ages of the children. You can deviate from the standard calculation based on various factors.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Child support is based primarily on the income of both parties and the % of time each parent has the children. There is a computer program called "dissomaster" which is used by family law lawyers and the court to estimate the approximate child support. You should contact our law firm and make an appointment to come in so we can run a dissomaster with various scenarios.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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