If you go through a divorce and have children, either you or your ex-spouse will be responsible for child support payments. Child support orders are determined based on the state’s Child Support Guidelines.
Since the state has guidelines, it makes it easier for parents to have a basic understanding of how much support they may need to pay. Depending on how many children you have and your combined gross monthly income, you will be able to see the normal basic child support obligations listed on the chart.
Understanding the schedule of basic child support obligations
Looking at the schedule of monthly basic child support obligations, you will see that the state has support amounts listed for incomes of up to $35,000 per month for as many as six children. If your situation involves income over $35,000 a month and a greater number of children, you may need to multiply by a percentage per additional child.
Here’s an example. If you earn $22,500 combined each month and have two children, the state would estimate that you should pay at least $2,500 in child support. For a single child, the support would drop to $1,692. If you have six children, the maximum listed, you could pay a minimum of $3,903 monthly.
At lower income levels, you still have an obligation to pay. For example, if your combined gross monthly income is only $350, you’ll still be obligated to pay at least $68 for a single child and at least $169 for six children.
The nice thing about the child support guidelines is that they do give you a good place to start. You will have other factors to start considering, such as who will pay health care or what to do if your child has special needs. However, these guidelines do create a basis for all couples to review as they begin to work on child support topics and determine how much should be paid.
Every case is different. If you believe that you may need to pay child support, it’s helpful to go over your case and to look at how you can determine a fair support payment amount.