How Is Child Support Ordered And What Exactly Is It?

Child support is a court ordered monthly payment by one parent (often the non-custodial parent) to the other parent for the support of their common child. Federal law now requires that the amount of a child support payment be set in accordance with a guideline. Having a guideline is believed to prevent widely different amounts of child support being ordered from courtroom to courtroom. Guidelines provide an objective basis for the determination of the amount of support to be paid. As a result, most states have established formulas that are used to determine the amount of the payment from one parent to the other.  In general child support payments are typically determined according to a state adopted mathematical formula that takes each parent’s income, earning capacity, health and time spent with the child, into consideration.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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