The Basics About Child Support Calculation

Divorce is often muddied by the very contentious issue of child support. It is something that may send even the most reasonable parents into bouts of frustration and anger.

When one parent does not believe the other is being responsible, they may demand more care and control over the children. This may come in the form of more physical custody and, therefore, child support. You may be wondering what child support calculation is based on and how it will turn out. Take a look at a couple of the primary factors many states look at when deciding how to best provide for your children.

Income Table and Basic Obligation

The first thing that a court looks at when deciding child support is how much money both parents make combined. This entails inputting the after-tax figure into a table for each parent. Once that happens, the judge then looks at how many children the parties have together. There is often a table provided by the state that lets parents see just what the court will determine the basic child support obligation is. For example, in Florida, if two people make a combined $80,000 and have two children in common, the state says that the amount the children need for support is $3,000 a month.

Adding Other Items to the Calculation

Parents know that basic obligations rarely get very far, as children have different needs based on their age. After the basic obligation is calculated, the parties get a chance to add in extra items that are required for their children’s care such as:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental care
  • Monthly medical expenses
  • Child care costs

These items are then added to the primary obligation. In Florida, one parent is usually required to carry medical insurance for the children, and the other is required to reimburse for half.

Physical Timesharing Difference

One parent in Florida is designated as the primary care provider for purposes of school zoning. This does not mean that the designated parent has more time than the other. The two can split physical custody evenly. The state allows for the number of overnight visits with each parent to be taken into account before determining child support. If the children are, in fact, with each parent equally, then one may not owe the other any money, or the amount may be reduced.

An attorney, like a divorce attorney from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, is an excellent resource when it comes to calculating a manageable amount of child support. Consulting with one early in your divorce process may prove greatly beneficial.