In May 1997, the Federal Child Support Guidelines came into effect. In the majority of situations, the calculation of child support requires three major steps:
First, each parent’s guideline income must be determined.
Second, the Child Support Guideline Tables are used to obtain the Child Support Guideline amount the payor parent must pay to the primary caregiver parent based on the number of children and the payor parent’s guideline income.
Third, the payor parent may be required to pay a share of the following additional expenses:
• Extraordinary extracurricular activities
• Extraordinary school related expenses
• Post-secondary expenses
• Child care expenses
• Medical and dental premiums
• Medical expenses exceeding $100.00 per annum, over health insurance
If the payor parent is required to pay a share of any of the above expenses, they will be calculated as the payor parent’s percentage of the combined incomes of the 2 parents. For example, if the payor earns $40,000.00 and the other parent earns $60,000.00, then the payor may be required to pay 40% of these extra expenses.
Other rules for calculating child support may be triggered in special situations, such as:
• Where a parent would suffer from undue hardship from paying the guideline amount of child
support, the table amount may be reduced. It is very difficult to prove undue hardship and a
reduction in the table amount will be awarded in only the most dire of situations.
• Where a payor earns in excess of $150,000.00 per annum
• Where parents share the time they spend with their children in excess of 40%
• Where parents split caring for the children between two houses such that one child is with
one parent primarily and the other child and/or children are with the other parent primarily
• Where the children are over the age of 18 years
In many cases, the courts and lawyers use special computer programs to make these difficult calculations. Of course, Wise Scheible Barkauskas is fully equipped to provide these calculations to clients and to evaluate their liability, or entitlement, to child support.