Calculating The Amount of Support 8

About: Child Support

Weighing The Variables That Matter

The actual method and percentages for calculating the appropriate amount of child support varies from state to state, but all states will rely on a similar set of variables to come up with the amount. Both parents are typically asked to submit a financial statement to the court and the court then considers the financial picture of both parents – the needs of the custodial parent and the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay.

The court also looks at the needs of the child – age, mental and physical abilities, etc. – as well as how the children lived prior to the divorce . This is not to say that the court’s will force the paying parent to support a lifestyle that is no longer financially feasible – just that maintaining a similar lifestyle, if possible, plays a part in deciding upon the amount of support.

Child support is typically a fixed amount and payable on a monthly basis however, many courts do include a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that will automatically increase the payments by a small percentage on an annual basis to allow for ordinary inflation. Most states base child support orders on a set of state-approved Child Support Guidelines.

To determine these guidelines, generally a committee has undertaken a great deal of research and consideration to establish the amount of money it costs to raise a child in that particular state with various levels of income. The variables discussed above are usually a part of the calculation with necessary additions and/or credits made to the base level of support to account for daycare costs, health care costs and other similar expenses.


  • katie

    my fioncee just started seeing his son because the mom wouldnt stop playing games now all the sudden she wants us to give her money for a pre school and i think we should go to court and get it on document that he is gonna be paying for it so that there is a record but she wants him to give her cash should i ignore her and go to court about it anyways

  • melissa

    hi …!
    my husband just found out hes a father of another little girl well she says he his the father. hes doin a dna test soon . but i got a question they told us that the law in texas he had to pay childsopport past due something like that and that they will take 20% off from his check….how is that possible we have 1 child and ready to have my next child….i believe its not fair for my kids for child sopport take that much money….i really dont know what we will do cuz my husband is the only income and i am in school. i am going to have to quit school and get a job…? i am really scared. i dont mind the little girl if she comes been his but that much money i think its too much.
    thank u

  • ALYNPh

    My ex husband agreed to pay 200 a month in child support 6 years ago my child is now 7 he has another son that is 5 and that mother receives over 400 a month i lost my job back in september and he refuses to help me out how can the 2nd wife receive more than i do for child support is the a way i can change my child support with out hiring an attorney

  • concerned

    I am a mother of 3 my ex is on ssi and only pays $52 a month for all three kids my new husband found out he has a child and courts are saying $643 a month for 1 child this will destroy us financialy my husband is military we don’t have alot of income. why is it my ex pays so little this is unfair.

  • Sad Mom

    My husband and I separated 6 months ago an he has not given me any financial support for the 3 kids. Will he be reqired to repay me for the past 6 months once I get the ball rolling for child support?

  • erin

    In April I was placed on medical leave secondary to an auto accident. In July my auto ins. Company stopped payment on my claim before I was cleared back to work by an orthopedic surgeon. I was forced to file a lawsuit against my ins. Company. I was able to get health ins through dhs effective Nov 1st. I’m currently seeking the help of an orthopedic surgeon and hope to be back to work by Christmas. I have had no income from July to present. However, I only just filed for an increases to have my child support I receive increased. Can I ask the court to retro the increase back to July?

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  • heather

    My ex gave up custody rights to our 2 kids nine years ago.
    In “trade” he reduced his child support to half and gave me holidays
    To my discretion. He’s never asked to see them on any holidays
    Except christmas and the last 2 christmas’ he’s literally harassed
    Me over the holiday. I’ve always given him christmas visitation.
    I’ve always tried to be fair for the kids sake.
    Now that the kids are older I’ve asked him to help more financially.
    After a year of him not helping more, I’ve requested an income tax
    Return for a child support increase. He’s exceeded the time allowed
    To provide the tax return and now I’ve hired an attorney to take this to court.
    he is now bribing the kids to come and live with him during
    His visitation time. Can he have custody rights given back to him after giving them up? It’s now my understanding that custody and child support have nothing to do with each other.
    He’s also adopted a stepson a few years ago. He pays child support based on half his income,
    Never been refused visitation and is not respecting his own rules he set.
    What are the chances of him taking the kids from me ?