Child support guidelines are used by courts to determine the amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent. The criteria include:
- The combined income of the parents*
- The number of children in the household
- The children’s health insurance costs
- Work-related childcare expenses**
- Any extraordinary medical expenses for the children***
- Preexisting child support payments
- Any alimony awarded to the custodial parent (which will be calculated prior to determining child support)
Note that income includes:
- Dividend income
- Pension income
- Interest income
- Trust income
- Annuity income
- Social Security benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Unemployment insurance benefits
- Disability insurance payment
- Alimony received
* Guidelines set a ceiling for the combined income level at $10,000 per month or $120,000 per year. If the combined income exceeds this amount, the court may determine an appropriate amount of support.
** Childcare expenses are determined by what is actually spent by the custodial parent on a licensed daycare provider or other quality care service. If actual expenses cannot be obtained or what is being spent is not in the best interest of the child, the expense is determined by the cost of care from a licensed source.
*** Extraordinary medical expenses are uninsured medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child that exceed $100 for a single illness or condition. It can include braces, dental treatment, asthma treatment, physical therapy, treatment for any chronic health problem, and professional counseling or psychiatric therapy for diagnosed mental disorders.
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