The basic child support obligation to be paid by a non-custodial parent is usually based upon the percentage of the combined parental income. For one child the amount is 17%, for two children 25%, for three children 29%, for four children 31% and for five or more children, the child support will be no less than 35%.
The law also provides a combined limit of $184,000 in income for calculating child support, but it is not strictly enforced by the courts.
In addition to the basic child support obligation, the non-custodial parent may be obligated to pay for a portion of the child care expenses related to the custodial parent’s employment or education.
Health care expenses for the children are apportioned between the parents based upon the combined parental income. The non-custodial parent also may be directed to pay for educational expenses. However, if the amount of the basic child support obligation is unjust or inappropriate, the non-custodial parent’s pro-rata share of the child support obligation may be determined by other factors. The parents may avoid use of the percentages in determining the amount of the child support by executing the agreement setting forth the amount which they believe is fair. An agreement determining the amount of child support must satisfy technical provisions of the Child Support Standard Act. A skillful lawyer can help the parties to comply with these provisions.
Neither parent has an obligation to support the child once the child reaches 21 years of age. The child support may end before 21 years of age, if the child is emancipated.
If you need a consultation in regard to a child support matter, please contact my office.