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How is Child Support Calculated?

Having sole physical custody of a child comes with great financial responsibility. While both parents have an obligation to support their minor children financially, the parent who has physical custody has to provide necessities, such as clothing, food, and a home. Meanwhile, the parent who does not have physical custody of the child is legally obligated to pay a certain amount of money in child support. So, how exactly is this amount determined? The laws regarding the calculation of child support vary slightly depending on the state you live in, but there are several key aspects factored into child support that remain constant across the country.


Both parents are required to support their children financially. Child support agreements will always take into account each parent’s income. The court can also consider the earning capacity of each parent. If one of the parents remarries, then the earnings of the new spouse may also become a factor in the calculation of child support. Each state has a specific formula to calculate the percentage of a parent’s income that should go towards supporting their child.

Number of Children

Obviously, child support payments will be greater when there are more children involved. In addition, it is important to remember that child support amounts could be different for each child. For example, if one child has physical disabilities or medical problems, the child support will be higher because of the costs that come along with doctor visits, hospital stays, and other medical bills. It would be inaccurate to calculate the financial support for one child and simply multiply that number by the number of children shared between the parents.

Age of Children

In general, child support payments increase when the children get older. As children grow up, their general expenses for clothes, food, school, transportation, and activities get higher and higher.

Child support disputes are often adversarial, but you do not need to go through this process alone. If you are in the process of determining child support payments, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference. The lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can help you through this difficult time. Whether you are not receiving the child support you deserve, or you are being charged excessively, our attorneys will work diligently to support you. To speak with a member of our legal team, call us today at (919) 833-1040.