Are Child Support Payments Gender-Based?

By Wayne Thomas

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents share in financially supporting their children after divorce. Although states can vary on the exact procedure to determine which parent pays support and the amount paid, the obligation is never based on gender.

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents share in financially supporting their children after divorce. Although states can vary on the exact procedure to determine which parent pays support and the amount paid, the obligation is never based on gender.

Determining Who Pays

In most states, the parent ordered to pay child support has either more income or fewer overnights with the child than the other parent. The obligation then arises out of an effort to balance the financial burden between parents. Once the court determines which parent should pay support, the actual support obligation is arrived at using guidelines contained in that state's statutes. The guideline amounts are not based on gender, but on a percentage of the paying parent's income alone, or as a proportion of that parent's income to the combined incomes of both parents.

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Reasons to Deviate From California Guidelines for Child Support

References

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How to Determine Child Support Amounts in Kentucky

Kentucky uses what is known as an Income Shares model for calculating child support. This model attempts to recreate the level of support provided for the child when the parents were living together. Although the initial computation is mathematical in nature and fairly rigid, flexibility exists for judges to deviate from the guidelines in certain cases and to modify the obligation to account for future changes.

What Percentage of Income Does Child Support Take for One Kid?

Each state's laws determine how much child support a non-custodial parent must pay after a divorce, and the rates and method of calculation vary between states. These payments are intended to pay for a child's normal expenses, such as housing, food, clothing and education. Though courts frequently use the guidelines to set child support amounts, courts do not have to follow them in cases where they would not be appropriate, such as when a child needs special medical care because of a disability.

What Is the Maximum Amount of Child Support in Maryland?

A divorce does not end a parent's duty to financially support his children. In Maryland, child support is calculated according to a set formula contained in state law and based on the parents' incomes. Because a child's needs take precedence over the interests of the parents, a judge is not necessarily bound by a support calculation and may order a higher payment if he deems it necessary to cover expenses related to the care of the child. There is no statutory maximum limit to the amount of support the court can order.

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