When it comes to divorce, determining child support obligations is often contentious. The non-custodial parent must contribute to the other parent’s household to ensure their children are well cared for.
As for the process of calculating child support, it can vary quite a bit from situation to situation. Here are a few basic facts to consider when navigating the process.
Common methods for calculating child support
Methodology varies from state to state, but there are a few common methods used to calculate support obligations. First, the court calculates the parents’ gross or net income is determined depending on the state. They can also assess other forms of income, such as inheritances or work bonuses.
The court then calculates how much money it takes for each parent to raise a child or children. This can also include costs related to medical care or school expenses.
When a parent does not have an income
In the event that a parent is not currently employed, the court will take a closer look at the situation. If the court believes that the parent is intentionally avoiding gainful employment to avoid paying child support, the court will calculate their income based on their previous employment and abilities. However, this only occurs when the court feels the lack of employment is “voluntary.”
Extenuating circumstances to consider
The more responsibility a parent has, the less money they will pay in child support in many cases. In this case, a parent who spends a certain amount of time with their children according to the guidelines in their state can have their payments reduced as a result. On the other hand, less time spent can incur higher costs.
It is both parents’ obligation to provide financially for their children. Despite that, most courts will not request that a parent pay so much in support that it puts their lives in financial jeopardy.