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.

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.

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.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Child Support Laws & Estimated Amounts in Arkansas
 

References

Related articles

Child Support Questions & Answers

When parents of minor children divorce, one certainty is that their decree or judgment includes provisions for child support. It explains who pays what to whom, and how much. It should detail when support ends, but it may still leave a lot of questions unanswered. The finer details usually depend on where you live and your state's laws.

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.

What Percent of Income Does CT Take Out in Child Support for the Noncustodial Parent?

Parents have the duty to support their children financially, both before and after divorce, so Connecticut law aims to provide adequate financial resources for a child through court-ordered child support payments. The percentage of a noncustodial parent’s income that goes toward child support depends on the total income of both parents, how much of that total must go for child support and the percentage of that total income that the noncustodial parent earns.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

The Child Support Obligation for a Non-Custodial Parent According to the Law in Illinois

Illinois is one of only 10 jurisdictions that still calculates child support the good, old-fashioned way, based only on ...

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 ...

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 ...

Guidelines for Arkansas Child Support Payment & Income

Arkansas law takes much of the pain and fuss out of calculating child support. If it appears that you'll be the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED