How Is Child Support Calculated?

Interviewer: Okay. Right. And how is child support calculated?

Anitha Johnson: Oh, it’s just a calculation. It’s based off of the party’s income and expenses, the number of overnights that the party has with the child, whether it’s primary or it’s joint physical custody. Joint physical custody is when it’s equal, fifty-fifty. Shared physical custody is where it’s not exactly equal but the non-custodial parent has over 35% or more time with the child. Visitations mean that other party has primary custody, you just visit the child. In that case, that’s when the child support is the most.

Interviewer: What about alimony and child support? If there’s a limited amount of money one party gets from the other, is child support preferred over alimony?

Anitha Johnson:  Yes, because the party’s ability to [support the child comes first, and to receive child support is a right]. Both parents have a duty to support their child.

Interviewer: Okay.

Anitha Johnson:  It’s a definite right and the party who is supposed to receive it can’t waive it. The court has to agree with the best interest of the child so even if the other side refuses to receive it, the court can still order child support.

Interviewer: Oh really?

Anitha Johnson:  Yes.

Interviewer: That’s interesting. I didn’t realize that. Okay. And I guess the more child support you pay, the less alimony, right?

Anitha Johnson:  Yes.

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