When a person is separating from his or her child’s other parent, calculating an appropriate child support amount is important. The amount will depend on the relative income of the parents, the amount of time the child will spend with each parent and whether there are any special and extraordinary expenses for the child.
The first step in calculating child support is to look at the paying parent’s gross annual income, which is his or her income from all sources before taxes. The number of children requiring support will be factored into the amount as well. The parent with whom the children will primarily reside will be the person who receives the child support in cases in which one parent will have the children the majority of the time.
In shared parenting arrangements, which is when the child will live with each parent at least 40 percent of the time, the parent that makes more money will be the one who pays. In split parenting arrangements, in which each parent will have one child residing primarily with them, both parents will calculate their gross annual incomes and then look up their child support amounts. The parent with the higher amount will be the one that pays, but the amount will be the difference between the two child support amounts.
People who are going through a child custody and support case may want to seek the help of a family law lawyer. A lawyer may be able to help negotiate an agreement regarding custody and support. He or she may also advocate on behalf of his or her client in court if litigation becomes necessary.