Child Support FAQ and Answers

 Child Support FAQ; mom and two little boys

Will I Get Child Support?

Maybe. Child support is calculated by taking into consideration many factors. Specifically, the court will look at the custody arrangement, income of both parties, cost of insurance, and work-related child care expenses. In response to the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984 (CSEA), states enacted models for calculating child support.

There are three basic models for calculating child support:

  1. Income Shares Model – The most popular model, adopted by 39 states, establishes child support based on the portion of income each parent has to the total income of the parents.
  2. Percentage of Income Model – Adopted by 9 states, this model provides is based on the non-custodial parent providing a percentage of income regardless of the custodial parent’s income.
  3. Melson Model – Only adopted by Hawaii and Delaware. It provides for a more complex calculation taking into effect the standard of living, and the parent’s self-support needs.

If you have custody of your child and you think you might be entitled to child support you should meet with an experienced child support attorney.

How Much Child Support Will I Pay?

The amount of child support paid is based on the model used to calculate child support, the income of the parents, the custody arrangement and other factors.

What If I Can’t Afford to Pay?

Child support is generally open to modification based upon a change in circumstances. If you find yourself having a difficult time paying child support, don’t wait until you are behind on your payments before you seek legal advice. It might be possible to modify your child support if you have a substantial change in circumstances. You cannot agree to change court-ordered child support with your child’s other parent. Court ordered child support must be modified by the court. If you don’t pay support, you could be held in contempt.

Can I Calculate Child Support Myself?

Many states have online child support calculators. You will need income information for both parents, childcare payments, health insurance payments for the children, child support paid to other children, and any special information to calculate support. You can use our online calculator to calculate NC child support. It is not guaranteed and any calculations should be used for educational purposes only.