Does the Number of Children Affect Child Support?

By Beverly Bird

Child support is intended to provide for your children's basic needs – shelter, food and clothing – when you and your spouse divorce. Almost all states use one of two models, or formulas, to arrive at child support obligations. Your obligation typically increases with the number of children you have.

Child support is intended to provide for your children's basic needs – shelter, food and clothing – when you and your spouse divorce. Almost all states use one of two models, or formulas, to arrive at child support obligations. Your obligation typically increases with the number of children you have.

Percentage of Obligor's Income Model

As of 2013, nine states and the District of Columbia use the percentage of obligor's income model for calculating child support. If you live in one of these states, you can expect to pay a flat percentage of your income toward your children's needs if you're not the custodial parent. For example, if you have one child, Texas child support takes 20 percent of your pay, and if you have four or more children, the amount of support increases to 35 percent.

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Income Shares Model

The majority of states – 38 as of 2013 – use the income shares model for calculating support. These states factor in both parents' incomes on the premise that if you and your spouse didn't divorce, your children would benefit from your combined earnings. The calculations under this model first add your incomes together, and then set aside a portion of the total for your children's needs. If your combined incomes total $60,000, and if you earn $40,000 of that, you would be responsible for about two-thirds of the amount set aside for your children. For example, in Arizona, if you and your spouse together earn $5,000 a month, $794 of this goes to child support if you have one child, and $1,633 would be set aside if you have six children or more.

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Child Suport Guidelines in Arizona

References

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Texas Family Code Child Support Guidelines

Heading into a divorce, one of the hardest things to deal with is the uncertainty. You may have heard horror stories from friends about how they're paying much more in child support than they can reasonably afford. If you conferred with an attorney, he might have left your head spinning with explanations of how support is technically calculated. If you live in Texas, however, you'll catch a bit of a break, at least when it comes to understanding the process. This is one of a few states that still calculates child support according to percentage of income guidelines.

What Is the Minimum Child Support in Texas?

Child support depends on a number of factors – your income, how many children you have, and your state's method of calculation. If you have children, you likely can't get a divorce without a corresponding child support obligation, and all these factors are integral to how much you'll pay.

Why Does a Parent That Doesn't Have Custody Have to Pay Child Support?

Just as you support your children financially while you're married, you must continue to do so when you divorce. The major difference is that if you divorce, the government keeps a watchful eye on whether you're paying – at least if you're the non-custodial parent. Child support is designed to ensure that your children enjoy the same standard of living as they would have enjoyed if you and your spouse didn't break up.

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