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Calculating Income According to Child Support Guidelines

Calculating Income According to Child Support Guidelines

In most states, child support is awarded based on a formula that takes into account each parent's income, the number of children being supported and the cost of raising children. But determining "income" for child support purposes is not always a straightforward calculation.

Tax Income Is Not Always Equal to Child Support Income

The income reported on your tax return may not be the same amount that the court uses in its child support calculations. And the deductions you take on your income tax return may not be the same deductions that are used in the child support calculator.

For example, Ohio child support calculations look at a parent's gross monthly income, less income tax, child support payments for other children, alimony payments and federal dependent exemptions.

In California, child support calculations are based on a parent's average monthly after-tax income, less deductions. But, according to the County of San Diego, "the judge may consider the amount of money a parent is capable of earning, instead of the parent’s actual income."

A divorce attorney or child support lawyer will be familiar with the exact child support formula that's used in your state. Your lawyer will also be able to help you make a case for deviating from the calculations.

Visit LawyerLocator for more information about divorce, child custody and child support law, and for help hiring a divorce lawyer in your area.