Child Support Payment Calculator

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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What a child support payment calculator does is factor in the six elements that the federal government established for all states to include in determining child support awards. Certain aspects of each of these elements will vary from state to state depending on the state's interpretation and application of them. A child support payment calculator cannot, and usually does not pretend to, take into account any special or highly variable circumstances. Examples of such circumstances are shared custody and children with special needs.

How a Child Support Payment Calculator Works

The four elements in the federal guidelines that can be factored into a child support payment calculator are parent income, health insurance, child care, and possible deductions. Custody is assumed to be primarily with one parent. Other custody arrangements--joint custody and shared custody, for example--and the special needs child consideration--whether for gifted or handicapped children--may be too complex to be calculated by simple formula.

Two of the figures entered in a child support payment calculator are simple and single. The first, as might be expected, is the number of children. The second is the amount paid by the custodial parent for child care.

The rest of the figures are in fact pairs or possible pairs, one amount for the custodial parent and the other amount for the noncustodial parent. Some of these figures can of course be null, particularly preexisting alimony/child support and health insurance. The first of these paired elements is monthly income. Depending on the state, monthly income figures can be either gross or net amounts. The second paired element is possible preexisting alimony or child support. The third is health insurance.

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