Ensuring Appropriate Child Support Obligations
Fair child support levels benefit all parties, including your child. Obligations that are too high can leave the paying parent in financial straits. Obligations that are set too low can leave a child in need of basic necessities or create a difficult burden for the parent who receives support.
Child support levels are determined through the use of a formula which is contained in the state guidelines on child support. The formula looks at a variety of factors in an attempt to create a fair child support obligation that meets the child’s needs while not overburdening the paying parent.
Factors that are considered by the government in a child support determination include:
- Each parent’s gross monthly income
- How many nights each parent has the child
- Expenses such as insurance costs, day care costs and other financial issues
The formula takes these factors into consideration and dictates child support amounts. The courts rarely deviate from the outputs that the formula creates. This makes it important that inputs such as income are correctly assessed. Income assessment can be straightforward for many people. They may just need to submit their W-2 to determine income. For business owners, contractors and others with more unique income situations, the determination may be more open to interpretation.