By law, the non-custodial parent usually pays child support. If parents have shared custody, the parent who earns the most money will pay because their income is higher. That means you could be obligated to pay child support based on two major factors: your income and the number of overnights you have with your children.
The court follows a formula in determining child support obligations, and that mathematical calculation is based in the law. They use a chart when looking at the number of overnights each parent has. Though there are some upcoming changes to the law related to the number of overnights required, 92 (or 25%) of the overnights is the threshold number to create shared custody under the law. If you have your kid for more than 92 nights and less than 104 nights, you have shared residential custody and could pay slightly more than you do if you have your child fewer than 92 overnights.
The court will also consider extraordinary medical expenses that one parent is paying, health insurance costs, and daycare expenses. A lot of parents want to use private school tuition, but that usually isn’t included unless the private school was recommended for the child’s disability or something like that. If the parents are earning over $30,000 a month combined, then the court has more discretion to make a decision about how much child support is appropriate because then they are outside of the guidelines. So, those are the basic ways that the court determines child support.
Will Child Support Be Awarded During The Divorce Process?
Child support can be ordered temporarily before the final custody trial at a pendente lite hearing or at the agreement of both parties. If one parent is awarded custody, that parent can file for child support outside the case if they didn’t ask for it in the case; or if it’s in the case, the court can set the pendente lite hearing and make a child support order. The parent who does not have custody would probably be the one paying child support. The court can backdate the child support to the date of filing in many cases.