How is Child Support Determined in Idaho?
Idaho uses something known as the Idaho Child Support Guidelines to establish child support in Idaho. Every case involving the custody of a child will include a child support order based on these guidelines. While the guidelines are a based upon a basic mathematical formula, there are several factors outlined which can effect child support amounts or contributions expected by both parties.
Basic Mathematical Formula for Child Support
To reach the basic combined monthly child support add the gross income of both parties together and and apply it to the Basic Monthly Child Support Guidelines Schedule found on pages 14-18 of the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. Once you have the base monthly support amount for the number of children you have together you will multiply that amount by your percentage of the total income. For example, if you earn $2000/month and the other party earns $1000/mo, the total income is $3000. Find the base combined child support amount from the Guidelines Schedule. You would then multiply the combined base child support by .66 (because $2000 is 2/3 of $3000 and this would represent your percentage of the total income). This amount would be your individual monthly child support obligation.
Other Factors Related to Child Support
In order for the Idaho Child Support Guidelines not to be a one-sized fits all formula, certain additional factors besides income are taken into consideration. There are six enumerated factors. They are: Child Care Costs (work or school related),Transportation, Tax Benefits, Health Insurance Premiums and Health Care Costs, Health Care Costs Not Covered by Insurance and Disability Dependency or Retirement Dependency Benefit. Depending upon what the parties have agreed to, what their attorneys have negotiated or upon what an individual judge decides, the costs associated with raising a child can be split prorata or 50/50. In the case of prorata, using our example above, one party would pay 2/3 of the child care or health care costs and the other party would pay 1/3. In the case of a tax exemption, if one party receives the right to claim the child on his or her taxes, the amount of child support will be increased or decreased, in an amount determined by the Federal and Idaho Income Tax per Exemption Schedule on pages 4-10 of the Idaho Child Support Guidelines.
Shared Physical Custody
Another set of factors that result in an adjustment to a child support obligation is the type of custody arrangment in place. In the case of Shared Physical Custody, if the non-custodial parent has 25% or more over-nights and adjustment will be made to their child support obligation. The total basic monthly child support amount is multiplied by 1.5. The resulting number is multiplied by the amount of time the child spends with each of the parents. The respective amounts are offset, with the party owing more support, paying the difference between the two amounts. If it is the case that one parent has less than 25% of overnights but has extended visits of 14 consecutive days or more, the Court can reduce the amount of support.
Split Physical Custody
The Court will also reduce the amount of child support owing if each parent has physical custody of at least one child. The formula for determining the adjustment in support in cases of split physical custody is more complicated and is dependent upon the number of children involved. A Boise Divorce Attorney, who regularly calculates child support obligations can help you understand how this works and what it would mean for your support amount.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- If I don't have a job, will my income be figured at zero? - No, if you are unemployed or under-employed the court will impute an income to you (unless you are physically or mentally handicapped).
- Will I receive less child support if I am a man? No, the Idaho Child Support Guidelines are applied universally, regardless of gender.
- What happens if I have other kids that live with me or for whom I pay support? The Court will allow a deduction from your gross income - Your Boise Divorce Attorney can help you calculate this number.
- What if I am obligated by a court order to pay alimony or spousal support? Again, the Court will allow a deduction from your gross income.
- Can I modify my child suppot if my income or the income of the other parent changes? Yes, according to the Guidelines, this may constitutes a substantial and material change of circumstances.
- What if I have another child after child support is established? Will this child be considered in the formula for child support? No, after-born children are not considered in modifying a child support award.
- Do the Guidelines apply to any income amount? If your income is below $800/month or over $300,000/ year the court will carefully consider the effect of these amounts on child support.
If you have any questions regarding child support or modification of child support, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.