Child Support Payments
Generally, child support is a fairly clearly defined calculation based on the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Clicking here will download the worksheet for you. It was published in September 2012 and was still current as of the time of posting (June 2020). However, we can make no assurances that the calculation has or has not changed since then. It is always best to engage a child support attorney in these matters.
Child support payments are based on each parent’s income level and earning capacity. We have seen instances where one spouse has deliberately become unemployed, or underemployed, in order to preset a lower income level. If the courts reasonably expect that someone is deliberately under-earning, they have the authority to “impute” income, and make the child support payments calculation based on what the parent could reasonably expect to earn, which is why “an earning capacity” is added to the calculation.
Other factors influence the calculation as well, including time spent with each parent, the current marital status of each parent, and so forth.
Every marriage, every parenting plan, is unique. While this article expresses general guidelines, it is still just that, general, and guidelines. Do not rely on this for legal advice, and always consult with an attorney on matters as important as divorce, family law, parenting plans, and of course, child support.