7 Factors Included In Child Support

When it comes to determining a child support obligation in a divorce or paternity case, a court takes into consideration a variety of factors. These factors have an impact on the standardized child support calculator utilized to ascertain a parent’s financial obligation. In the case of a divorce, both spouses are required to disclose financial information, data which is then utilized for a number of reasons during the marriage dissolution proceedings. This includes calculating child support. Despite the utilization of child support guidelines, and an associated calculator, to ascertain the financial obligation of the noncustodial parent, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” scheme associated with determining this type of monetary support. Rather, a court considers and analyzes the unique facts and circumstances of an individual case in reaching a determination regarding child support. As a general rule, a child support order cannot deviate significantly from what the guidelines set forth as an obligation amount, once all primary factors are taken into account. If these is a more significant deviation from the amount of support indicated in the guidelines, a substantial rationale must be presented to the court in order to support the variance.

Parents in divorce proceedings are encouraged to reach agreement between themselves when it comes to issues pertaining to their children. This includes child support. If the parents reach an agreement regarding support, that amount must be in general compliance with the guidelines. An agreement between the parents regarding an issue like child support is submitted to the court for the judge’s review and approval.

Here Are Factors That Play Into Child Support:

1. Annual Income of Both Parents

The most important factor that comes into play when determining child support is the annual income of both parents. State law establishes a formula that is utilized to determine the base financial obligation of the noncustodial parent. Understanding the a child support obligation primarily is income driven, understanding what constitutes income for the purposes of the support calculation is crucial.

In calculating support for children in a divorce of paternity case, gross income is what is at play. This represents the income earned by the parents before a calculation of taxes and other deductions.

The support guidelines tend to take an expansive view as to what constitutes income for the support obligation calculation. Naturally, income includes the wages or salary earned by each parent. Income can also include pension income, trust or estate income, annuity proceeds, and Social Security payments. If you need legal assistance you can also find legal aid here and you can search for a lawyer here.