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Child Support Calculation Questionnaire

The obligation to provide financial support to minor children applies to all parents. That includes parents who are married, divorced, adoptive, and never married. It does not matter if the parents' relationship is intact or has dissolved. Every parent must provide financial support for the child's well-being; this is the legal basis for child support.

If the relationship does end, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether you will pay child support. And if so, how much will the child support payment be? The noncustodial parent has the child support obligation in most child support cases.

In this article, you'll learn how judges calculate child support. You can also use the questionnaire at the bottom of the page to estimate how much child support might cost.

State Child Support Guidelines

Child support guidelines in each state help establish the amount of child support the obligor must pay. The guidelines vary by location. But state laws generally use the parents' incomes and expenses and the needs of the children.

The guidelines often calculate the child support amount as a percentage of the paying parent's income that increases with the number of children that the parent supports. The parent's time with the child, including overnights, may also be a factor. Sometimes, the family law courts deviate from the guidelines. But the judge can deviate only if they have valid reasons to do so.

Judges will often review a financial statement completed by each parent. The statement may be an affidavit where you swear under oath declaring all your financial information, including all sources and amounts of income and expenses.

Income includes more than your salary from your paycheck and pay stubs. Alimony or spousal support and unemployment are also included in your income. You should disclose if you receive SSDI or SSI benefits, public assistance benefits, and TANF.

Your expenses can include educational costs, childcare expenses, and daycare. Additional expenses, including medical expenses like health insurance premiums and dental care, will also count.

What about online child support calculators? They are helpful tools. But you can only rely on them to an extent. Guideline calculators use the same information as the court uses in their child support worksheet. But the judge can consider many factors when they set a child support amount. The calculator may not include some elements—for example, the cost of living. And calculators do not normally provide for deviations unless they are specifically addressed in the guidelines.

After assessing the material, the judge issues a child support order. Use the following form as a guide to help you and your attorney gather the necessary financial information in preparation for the court order.

 
 

INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER PARENT

Gross Monthly Income
  Source/Amount Source/Amount
  _________/$________ _________/$________
  _________/$________ _________/$________
  _________/$________ _________/$________
TOTAL: $________________ $________________
Monthly Deductions from Gross Income
State Income Tax $____________________ $____________________
Federal Income Tax $____________________ $____________________
Social Security $____________________ $____________________
Self-employment Tax $____________________ $____________________
Health Insurance $____________________ $____________________
Union Dues $____________________ $____________________
Pension/Retirement $____________________ $____________________
Mandatory? Yes ____ No ____ Yes ____ No ____
Other Support Orders $____________________ $____________________
Other $____________________ $____________________
TOTAL DEDUCTIONS: $_______________ $_______________
NET MONTHLY INCOME:

(Gross Income minus Total Deductions)

  $_______________ $_______________
Monthly Expenses
Rent or Mortgage $_______________ $_______________
Utilities:
Telephone (landline) $_______________ $_______________
Gas $_______________ $_______________
Electricity $_______________ $_______________
Water & Sewer $_______________ $_______________
Garbage Collection $_______________ $_______________
Cable Television $_______________ $_______________
Cellular Phone $_______________ $_______________
Internet Service $_______________ $_______________
Property Taxes $_______________ $_______________
Insurance:
Medical $_______________ $_______________
Dental $_______________ $_______________
Life $_______________ $_______________
Disability $_______________ $_______________
Long-term Care $_______________ $_______________
Homeowners/Renters $_______________ $_______________
Auto(s) $_______________ $_______________
Recreational Vehicle $_______________ $_______________
Debt Payments:
Vehicle #1 $_______________ $_______________
Vehicle #2 $_______________ $_______________
Home Equity Loan $_______________ $_______________
Student Loan $_______________ $_______________
Other Loans $_______________ $_______________
Credit Card #1 $_______________ $_______________
Credit Card #2 $_______________ $_______________
Credit Card #3 $_______________ $_______________
Educational Expenses:
For Self $_______________ $_______________
For Children $_______________ $_______________
Day Care:
For Children $_______________ $_______________
For Parent(s) $_______________ $_______________
Transportation Expenses:
Gasoline $_______________ $_______________
Parking/Commuting $_______________ $_______________
Vehicle Maintenance $_______________ $_______________
Licenses $_______________ $_______________
Food:
Groceries $_______________ $_______________
Take-out Food $_______________ $_______________
Restaurants $_______________ $_______________
School Lunches $_______________ $_______________
Clothing:
For Self $_______________ $_______________
For Children $_______________ $_______________
Repair and Cleaning $_______________ $_______________
Household Expenses:
Cleaning Supplies $_______________ $_______________
Cleaning Service $_______________ $_______________
Yard Maintenance $_______________ $_______________
Home Maintenance $_______________ $_______________
Home Security $_______________ $_______________
Home Improvements $_______________ $_______________
Home Furnishings $_______________ $_______________
Appliances $_______________ $_______________
Uninsured Health-care Costs:
Medical (Self) $_______________ $_______________
Medical (Children) $_______________ $_______________
Dental (Self) $_______________ $_______________
Dental (Children) $_______________ $_______________
Prescript. (Self) $_______________ $_______________
Prescript. (Children) $_______________ $_______________
Non-prescript. (Self) $_______________ $_______________
Non-prescript. (Child.) $_______________ $_______________
Personal Expenses:
Grooming $_______________ $_______________
Entertainment $_______________ $_______________
Travel $_______________ $_______________
Gifts $_______________ $_______________
Hobbies $_______________ $_______________
Babysitting $_______________ $_______________
Pet-care Costs $_______________ $_______________
Donations $_______________ $_______________
Other Expenses $________________ $_______________
  $_______________ $_______________
  $_______________ $_______________
  $_______________ $_______________
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES: $_______________ $_______________

Need Help Determining Child Support? Get Professional Legal Help Today

As you can see, there are a number of factors used to calculate child support. These factors may vary depending on where you live or your circumstances. Having a good idea of your sources of income and your expenses will help you and your attorney calculate an estimate for child support.

If you or a loved one are trying to determine child support payments, you should speak with a child support attorney who can advise you of the law and run a child support guideline worksheet. An attorney can also zealously represent you in court. Protect yourself and your child's interests and contact a local family law attorney today.

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