Child Support Calculators

In family law and government policy, child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated. In family law, child support is often arranged as part of a divorce, marital separation, dissolution, annulment, determination of parentage or dissolution of a civil union and may supplement alimony arrangements. The payment amount is different for different countries. Sometime it is even different in different states or provinces in a country.

We find the child support calculators in the following link is the best source for the calculation of the payment amount in the different states of the United States.

Child Support in U.S.

Child support is a legally required payment made by one parent to another after a divorce. The payment is made to the parent who has the principal residential and care responsibility for the children once the marriage has been dissolved. Under certain circumstances, this may mean that one parent has "custody" of the child, meaning that parent also has legal and decision-making responsibility. In either case, a specific portion of the paying parent's income must be paid over on a monthly basis to the parent with duty of care responsibilities.

After a divorce, in most cases, both parents must pay for the care of the children. But often the children spend much more time with one of the two parents, and so the burden of care falls unevenly on that parent's shoulders. That is what child support is intended to compensate.

The payment of child support, however, may be required even when the two parents are not married. Any two people who have children together have a legal obligation to care for the children. If one parent chooses not to or cannot live with the children, that parent pays child support.

Should a divorced or unmarried parent marry again, the obligation for child support to the birth parent may be terminated (or it may not be – but in many cases it is). Otherwise, child support payments must be made until the child reached a certain age, in most states it is until 18 years old, some are 19, and very few are 21 years old.

How is child support calculated?

After the judge or support magistrate determines the income of both parents and makes the deductions allowable by law, (FICA, alimony, other specific expenses), the incomes are added together to get the "combined parental income". Next, the judge or support magistrate selects a percentage based upon how many children in the household need to be supported. The combined parental income is multiplied by this percentage, and the amount is divided between the parents according to their incomes. The combined parental income level is set differently in every state, and levels are subject to change with time. This amount, plus the cost of health insurance coverage, child care, health-related expenses that are not covered by insurance, and appropriate education costs, is called the total child support obligation. It is possible for a judge to reduce or increase child support without respect for the guidelines. The judge or support magistrate may order a parent to pay a portion of money received from a non-recurring (one-time) source, such as: Life insurance policies; debt payments, debt recovery, gifts or inheritances, winnings from gambling or the lottery. An exceptional influx of income from one of these sources, or another source, may cause a judge to increase child support. Similarly, if a parent loses his or her job, or suffers serious financial loss, a judge may order that the parent's payments of child support be reduced.

Non-payment of child support is a serious crime. A judge will almost certainly order that the non-payer be fined, and very often orders that the parent be jailed. Should a parent attempt to flee child support, most states have an agency that will seek to find them and bring them to justice. For example, the State of New York has a the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) which operates through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The DCSE will try to locate non-custodial parents who have attempted to avoid child support payments. Through New Hire Reporting Directories, credit bureaus, IRS data, and more, DCSE can help find the non-custodial parent in order to establish or enforce a child support order or contact a divorce lawyer on behalf of the parent who is caring for the children.