How Much Child Support Do I Have to Pay?
How much child support a parent has to pay is assessed by the Department of Human Services using a basic 8 step formula. In summary, the formula takes into account each parent’s income and the amount of time children spend overnight in each parent’s care.
Specifically, the 8 step formula is as follows:-
1. Work Out Each Parent’s Child Support Income:
The Department calculates each parent’s child support income. This is a parent’s adjusted taxable income minus a self-support amount and any relevant dependant allowance.
2. Work Out the Parent’s Combined Income:
The Department adds both parents’ incomes to work out a combined child support income.
3. Work Out Each Parent’s Income Percentage:
The Department works out each parent’s income percentage by dividing each parent’s income by their combined total.
4. Work Out Each Parent’s Percentage of Care:
The Department works out the percentage based on the number of nights the children spend in each parent’s care.
5. Work Out Each Parent’s Cost Percentage:
The Department works out each parent’s cost percentage using the Care and Cost Table found on their website.
6. Work Out Each Parent’s Support Percentage:
The Department subtracts the cost percentage from the income percentage for each parent. The Department calls this the child support percentage. The result will determine if a parent pays or receives child support.
If it’s a negative percentage, the Department assesses that parent as the parent to receive child support. This is because their share of costs for the child is more than met by the amount of care they provide.
If it’s a positive percentage, the Department assesses that parent as the parent to pay child support. This is because they’re not meeting their share of the costs for the child directly through care.
If parents have different care arrangements for various children, there might be different child support percentages for each child.
The Department proceeds to steps 7 and 8 using only the positive child support percentage.
7. Work Out the Costs Of Children:
The Department works out the costs for each child based on the parents’ combined total income using the Costs of Children Table found on their website.
8. Work Out the Child Support Amount:
The Department works out the total amount of child support payable by multiplying the positive child support percentage by the costs of the child. This final figure is the amount the paying parent needs to pay the other parent.
A child support calculator is available on the Department’s website and provides a very helpful guide as to what child support payments will be.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?