child support lawyer

How Does Child Support Get Calculated?

Custody agreements follow a couple’s decision to divorce when they have children. Sometimes it is an easy process, especially if the couple already has a custody plan in mind. The goal of custody agreements are to make the entire process, including child support and visitation as easy as possible for everyone involved. However, some families have difficulty discussing these issues and presenting a solution for all those involved and that can be extremely challenging for parents and children alike. An experienced divorce attorney can help couples experiencing difficulty to reach a mutual child support agreement.  

How is Child Support Calculated?

Unfortunately there is no set scale on calculating child support nationwide. Laws vary by state and they each use their own calculation methods to determine child support payments. Fortunately, courts consider individual circumstances before making a legally binding declaration. Since there are many differences to consider, it is helpful to consult an attorney to decide how much a parent should pay or receive to support their children. Factors for these decisions are:

  • Melson Formula: A method of mathematical calculation used to consider the standard of living adjustment a child will face. It determines that the parent paying child support must pay more in support as their income increases. It is tough to determine, but insures that the child in question isn’t forced to live in an unsuitable standard.
  • Both parents’ incomes are considered because both parents are financially responsible for caring for their children. There is a chart states use to determine the cost of living of a child per state and that amount is split between the parents’ total incomes. If Parent A makes $5,000 per month and Parent B earns $7,500 per month, their total income is $12,500 per month. Since each parent’s payment responsibilities reflect their income, Parent A would be responsible for 40% and Parent B for 60% of child support.
  • Some states rely on the Percentage of Income Model. This means that only the income of the parent who doesn’t have custody of their child is considered for child support payments. The amount that the non-custodial parent pays varies by state but in some states it is a percentage of their income. Other states assign a flat fee associated with that particular state’s laws which makes it extremely difficult to determine when you are going through a divorce and must create a support agreement.

Make your child support decisions easier by contacting a family lawyer such as the child custody lawyer  locals turn to to discuss your unique situation and come to an agreement with your ex-spouse to care for your family post-divorce.