Child support is an amount of money paid to another person to help support the financial needs to support the child.

In a divorce, one parent pays the other based on 3 main things.

  • Time with the children – There are 2 different calculations
    • Shared Physical Custody – This is where both parents share equal time with the children. The amount paid to the other parent is typically less.
    • Joint Physical Custody – This is where one parent has the children most of the time. The amount paid to the other parent is typically higher.
  • The total monthly Income – You will use your monthly income
  • The number of children

How much is it?

Child Support is based on visitation. Visitation is typically shared or joint. It is more common and better accepted today to have shared custody.
Your child support will be less if you have shared custody. Keep in mind, you will pick up the extra expenses having more time with your children.

Click here to see links of the child support calculators for every state.

Can the amount be adjusted?

I’ve been divorced for years and had mine adjusted once.

Every 2-3 years, depending on the state, you can file to have it adjusted. Use the child support calculators to estimate the change.

Before deciding to have it adjusted, here are a couple of tips:

  • Are they faking it? Just because your ex is driving a new luxury car, it doesn’t mean their making more money. If they’re remarried, there’s a dual income. And, their income may not have changed.
  • Insurance – When using the child support calculators, don’t forget about this possible deduction if you’re paying. My insurance has gone up every year.

Is child support tax deductible?

Sorry, no. Here's why. Someone has to pay for the taxes on the income. It's either you or your X. So, you pay the taxes.

I truly believe it should be tax deductible especially if the states make money from it. At least some deduction or benefit should exist.

I lost my job, can I do anything?

Before the divorce is final: See if you can have support modified prior to the final order.
After the divorce is final: Look in your state to see if you can file an Emergency Adjustment.

When does it end?

The end date will be outlined in the final divorce. It’s based around when the kids graduate from high school and when they turn 18

Here’s an example in my divorce order:
The child support described herein shall continue monthly thereafter until the minor children reach the age of 18, die, marry, or otherwise become emancipated; provided that if a child becomes 18 while still enrolled in and attending secondary school on a full-time basis, then the child support shall continue for the child until the child graduates from secondary school or reaches twenty years of age, whichever comes first.