In most cases, child support is based on the statewide guideline child support formula and considers multiple factors for each parent.
The keys elements in setting a child support amount are each parents’ (1) net monthly income, and (2) custodial time with the child(ren). Courts will typically begin with the parents’ monthly gross income (pre-tax earnings), and then account for tax obligations and deductions, including any mandatory retirement, health insurance premiums, and required union dues as a few examples.
Once each parents’ monthly net income is discovered, the Court will combine these figures with the percentage of custodial time to determine the guideline child support award. By law, this guideline amount is presumed to be the correct amount of child support.
Once child support is awarded, it may be modified at any until the child reaches 18 years of age and completes high school, or turns 19, whichever occurs first. While parents may agree to no child support at any point, neither parent can permanently waive or terminate child support.