Federal law requires that child support be calculated according to a mathematical formula based on each parent’s income, taxes, the amount of time the child spends with each parent and any special needs a child may have. In addition, each case may require some other factors be taken into consideration on a case by case basis. Such other factors could include travel expense for visitation if one parent lives in another state for example.
Child support also takes into consideration sharing a child’s medical expenses and the expense of daycare allowing the parents to work.
A new spouse is not required to support children of another relationship, but the new spouse’s income may be taken into consideration in the calculation because it may affect the supporting parent’s taxes.
Note that child support is derived in a very different manner from spousal support, which is not based on any rigid formula, but is left to a Court’s discretion based on about a dozen criteria which the Court is required to take into consideration in setting spousal support.
Child support is payable until a child is 18, or if the child is still in high school and living at home, until that child graduates or turns 19, whichever comes first.
The Court will approve agreements that deviate from this norm as to amount, as well as agreements for support to be paid past the age of 18, for example to pay for the child’s higher education. The most important consideration is what is best for the child.
Child support is normally not tax-deductible.
Calculating child support is complex. My thorough knowledge of the fine points of the calculation helps me to reach the optimal result in my cases.