How child Support is Determined 

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After a divorce, one of the most stressful parts of the separation is determining how money is going to be allocated to assist in raising any children that were had during a marriage. Because children don’t have much of a say in how money is distributed, it is up to the divorcing parties to seek legal counsel and determine how they are going to continue to raise their children.

Factors of Child Support Assessment

It probably goes without saying, but the factors and formulas that are used to determine how much each parent will end up paying for child support varies wildly between situations. Commonly though, there are three factors that are considered when assessing how much money will be paid by each parent.

  1. Parental Income – The income levels of both parents are assessed based on the amounts that each parent filed on their tax returns for the previous year. This income is used to determine how much a parent is capable of contributing after their basic living expenses are covered.

  2. Time – Depending on how much time each child spends with each parent will help determine how much money will be allocated by the courts. If a child spends more time with one parent than another, theoretically, more money will be spent on food and support by that parent than the other.

  3. Child Age – Finally, the child’s age is taken into consideration. If the child is still an infant, the costs of diapers and doctor’s visits may be more than that of a child who is nearing their teenage years. Depending on where the child is in their development will help determine how much money needs to be allocated for the services and requirements of those age groups.

Levels of Child Support

Child support comes in many different levels and depending on the financial situation of both the mother and father of the child, different amounts of money may be required from both parents. Using the factors listed above, courts and family law firms are able to determine how much money is an appropriate amount for each parent to have to contribute each month to maintain the child’s life. Each level of child support is determined on a case by case basis and there is often no over-arching pay structure that can be looked at.