Regardless of where you live in the United States your state is required to use the Guidelines to determine the amount of the child support. But this is only applicable when the parties cannot mutually agree on the amount that the “non-custodial” parent should pay. The “non-custodial” parent is the parent who does not spend the majority of time with the child.
If negotiations break down between you and your ex-spouse regarding how much should be paid in child support, the Guidelines will be a good guide. They are specifically designed to resolve such disputes. The Guidelines take into account a number of different factors in determining how much the “non-custodial” parent should pay the “custodial” parent. The factors are plugged into a formula that will tell the court a range of amounts for your situation and the judge will decide on a number in the range.
The factors include such things as your income, the income of your ex-spouse, the number of children you have together, the number of children you have independent of your ex-spouse relevant to the current dispute, the number of children your ex-spouse has independent of you, etc. The court may add or remove other factors that it may think are particularly relevant, such as current net worth. This is particularly relevant if you or your spouse is unemployed but significantly more wealthy than the other.
In some situations the court will not use the Guidelines. This happens when using the support guidelines would result in an unjust or inappropriate result. The court may also decide who will cover health care costs. This is also applicable in situations where you or your ex-spouse may be unemployed but the other is covered by health insurance.
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