Divorce is already a stressful ordeal, but matters are further complicated when minor children are involved. In this case, parents are required to go through a custody agreement to determine primary care arrangements for the children. Parents are often concerned with who will gain custody and how the costs of childcare will be divided. If one parent gets primary custody of the children, then the other parent may be required to pay child support. Essentially, child support is in place to ensure that all the needs of a child are taken care, so there are a number of custody arrangements in which it will be required.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support laws vary by state. Each state uses a calculation to determine how much must be paid in child support, and in a way deemed fair to both parents. Most states, however, will consider the cost of living for the children and the income of the parents are Specific circumstances will also be considered by the courts in order to ensure adequate care. Some of the different calculations used to determine child support payments include:
- Income Shares: This method takes into consideration the income of both parents to determine the amount each will be required to pay for childcare. The court determines the expected cost of raising the child or children, then divides the amount each parent must pay based on their income. This means that if one parent makes 70% of both parent’s monthly income combined, then that parent will pay 70% of the childcare finances, while the other parent pays 30%. This system is in place to fairly distribute financial responsibility between parents.
- Melson Formula: This method of mathematical calculation is mostly interested in the adjustment of the standard of living a child will experience. The goal is to maintain the standard of living for the child. This means that the parent paying child support will be required to pay more as their income increases.
- Percentage of Income Model: This model only takes into consideration the income of the non-custodial parent. The court requires the non-custodial parents to pay a certain percentage of their income, but the percentage can be flat of varying, depending on the state. In states that require a flat percentage of your income, the amount will not change even if the non-custodial parent’s income changes. In varying states, the percentage of income to be paid will change with fluctuations in the non-custodial parent’s income.
Because every state has a different jurisdiction and laws regarding child support, it is advised to speak with an experienced family lawyer in your area. They can help you determine the child support you or the other parent may be required to pay. If you reside in Arizona, be sure to contact child custody lawyers Phoenix AZ recommends for aid.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into child custody.