Why is My Child Support So High?
The truth of the matter is being equally yoked is much more than a biblical saying. When deciding a non-custodial parent’s child support obligation, there are three main factors the court will consider.
- Custodial Time
Child support is determined based on the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Normally the amount of time is based off the custodial schedule in the court order. If the custodial parent has sole custody and the non-custodial parent has very minimal or no visitation than the child support obligation will be higher. In situations where the non-custodial parent has a minimal visitation schedule (70/30), the child support will be proportionate to the time each parent has the child. If the parents have joint or shared custody and each parent has equal custodial time most likely there may not be a child support obligation or the child support obligation will be fairly low.
Both parents are responsible for financially providing for a child. The D.C. child support guidelines requires the income information of both parents. The issue arises when one parent earns significantly more than the other parent. This is important because in the eyes of the court, children should live the same with each parent. So if the non-custodial parent earns $60,000 and the custodial parent earns $30,000, the non-custodial parent will pay more to ensure the child’s living condition with the custodial parent is on the same level as when the child is with the non- custodial parent.
Health insurance, daycare, and braces are all expenses, which parents should share equally. If the non-custodial parent elects not to contribute to these expenses, the custodial parent will be credited with paying the full amount. But that doesn’t mean the non-custodial parent is off the hook, his share of the expenses will be included in the amount of the support obligation. So for example, if the child has $3000.00 of extraordinary expenses annually which is paid by the custodial parent, then the non-custodial parent’s support obligation will increase by $125.00 per month.
Too often, non-custodial parents will just agree to whatever the custodial parent asks for as it relates to custody or refuse to assist with extra expenses without knowing the financial ramifications. But knowledge is power, so I hope once non-custodial parents understand how the choices they make contribute to the calculation of their child support obligation they will make more reasonable and rational decisions.