After the divorce, your income will change dramatically, and you may wonder how you will take care of your children with your reduced financial circumstances. This is the reason for child support, and the courts have some guidelines that help judges determine what amount your children need.
Here are some factors that may affect the amount you receive.
The parents’ income
Your income is not just your earnings from your job. It may also be any or all of the following:
- Spousal maintenance payments
- Unemployment benefits
- Workers’ compensation
- Pension and retirement payments
- Disability benefits
- Self-employment income
- Social Security benefits
Multiply each spouse’s weekly income by 4.33 to reach the monthly income amount.
The number of children and their needs
The calculation takes into account, not only the children you and your spouse have together, but also children that each of you support from other relationships. Neither of you will have to contribute to the support of children who are not yours biologically or by adoption, but the court recognizes that the obligations to those children may affect income or expenses.
Health care insurance, dental care, health conditions, special education needs and child care are all part of the calculation. If your children have other needs, you should bring these to the court’s attention so the judge can address them in the calculation.
The parenting time schedule
The parenting expense adjustment law went into effect on July 31, 2018. Since then, the number of overnights each parent has with the children affects the amount of child support. The courts recognize that the noncustodial parent still has expenses while caring for the children, and the adjustment offsets that fact.
The goal of the judge should be to sign an order that is in your children’s best interests.