The way the court determines how much you have to pay in child support may seem erratic, as if numbers are placed in a hat and a random figure is pulled out to determine your financial requirement. As much as it might appear to be that way, it’s not the case however; the court uses a specific calculation in order to determine how much child support is to be paid.
The first thing the court considers is the classification of the parents. There is the Custodial Parent, who has designated custody of the child. Then there is the Non-Custodial Parent, who does not have custody, but who has the responsibility to support the child. The court looks to determine the percentage of parenting time between the parties. If custody is shared, they focus on how much time the child spends with one parent over the other, or which parent’s home is regarded as the child’s primary residence. If the child spends more than 28% of nights in a year with the other parent, this is considered shared-parenting. If it is less than 28% of nights, the parent spending the most time with the child can claim sole parenting. The gross income of both parents is another important factor. With this information, the court calculates a support payment based on the income of each parent and the average amount of funds that an intact family spends on the child. They also factor the amount of time each parent spends with the child, with those spending less time paying more in financial support.
After determining the parents’ classification under the statute and deciding the fair income of both parties, the court also looks at the taxes and deductions on both sides and determines which deductions are permissible while ordered to pay child support. They usually look at the net income of both parties separately in determining the necessity to spilt the cost of the child in ratio to their respective incomes. For instance, if one parent makes $50,000 and the other parent makes $50,000, each parent would be responsible for 50/50. If one parent makes more than the other does, the share for that parent would be bigger resembling a 60/40 or 70/30 split. The court may find it necessary to consider other expenses, such as health insurance and child care, as factors that could also contribute to the child support order. After all these considerations are made and calculations regarding income are finalized, the court determines an amount for child support that is supposed to not leave one parent too poor.
If you are struggling with paying your current child support order, or if you are seeking help in establishing one, contact attorneys today. With over twenty-five years of experience in Family Law, she can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the process and help you through hearing. Call today at (732) 422-1000.