After a divorce, both spouses are still required to financially care for their children. Each state has their own guidelines for how child support will be calculated, and any variance from those guidelines must be carefully justified.
For the most part, child support can be calculated using a mathematical equation based on incomes of both parents. View the child support calculator to see an estimate of what you will be required to pay.
The following are also taken into account when calculating child support:
- gross income of the parents,
- work-related child care costs,
- number of children supported by either parent,
- child-related health insurance expenses,
- the number of children to be supported.
Before the Court makes a ruling on child support, each parent will be required to complete a financial statement that lists all sources and amounts of income as well as expenses.
Child support rulings can be changed should financial circumstances significantly change for either parent.
For example, if one parent changes jobs and their income increases, you may ask the Court to consider increasing the amount of child support he or she is required to pay. Conversely, should one parent experience a loss in his or her income, it is possible to ask for decrease in child support as well.
The simplest method for changing a child support ruling is for both parents to agree to the change. However, the Court must approve even an agreed-upon change in order for it to be enforceable.
Changes in child support can also be planned for in the original order. When the Court issues the original order for child support, this may include pre-determined changes that will occur in the future. These may include a reduction upon the emancipation of each child (when your child turns 18), an increase when a child enters college or other changes based on anticipated events.