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Changes in Child Support 7-1-2018

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July 1st, 2018 Changes in Child Support

As of July 1st, 2018, there are significant changes to the laws addressing child support. Perhaps the most significant change is that under the previous law, the Court almost always only considered the number of overnights a parent had when determining the correct calculation in shared placement arrangements. In limited cases, a Court may have considered equivalent care and awarded an “overnight” to a parent who provide care equivalent to such.  Under the new law a parent can be awarded a half a day or a full day if they provide basic support costs that are substantially similar to what the parent would spend to care for the child overnight. If a parent provides 6 hours of continuous care and a meal is provided that may count towards one-half day. Two half day blocks may be considered the equivalent to a full overnight.  The legislature has further clarified that for purposes of determining the appropriate amount of child support under a shared placement arrangement, the number of overnights in year can exceed 365 days. Therefore, the percentage of placement shall be determined by calculating the number of overnights or equivalent care and dividing that number by the total number of overnights. The total percentages do not need to equal 100%, only the total number of overnights.

For example, Sara and Steve have 3 children.  Sara has 2 overnights a week but also provides care for 6 hours, including lunch, every Saturday and Sunday. Under the new equivalent care determination, Sara would have 2 overnights plus 2 half-days for a total of 3 overnights every week. Steve would still have 5 overnights every week even though Sara gets credit for the half days.

Let’s say Steve makes $60,000.00 every year and Sara earns $84,000.00. The child support calculation under this scenario would look like this:

Gross Monthly Income Multiply by percentage for 3 Children (29%) Multiply by 150% Determine Percentage of overnights Multiply by other parent’s overnight percentage Subtract larger amount from smaller amount

 

Steve $5,000.00 $5,000 * 29% = $1,450 $1,450 * 150% = $2,175 5 overnights per week equals 260 overnights $2,175 * 37.5% = $815.63 $1,720.43

-$815.63

$904.80 is Sara’s Child Support Obligation

260+156 = 416 overnights/equivalents

260 divided by 416 means Steve has 56.5% of the overnights

Sara $7,000 $7,000 * 29% = $2,030 $2,030 * 150% = $3,045 3 overnights/equivalents per week equals 156 overnights $3,045 * 56.5% = $1,720.43
260 + 156 = 416 overnights/equivalents

156 divided by 416 equals 37.5% of the overnights

In addition, the law now states that Court shall now assign responsibility for the payment of a child’s variable costs in proportion to each parent’s share of physical placement and based upon a detailed list of variable costs provide by the parents. This means that parents will now be required to prepare a detailed list of all anticipated variable costs to assign proportional responsibility for payment. Previously, parents would have to exchange variable costs incurred and if there was a disagreement, the parents would have to ask the Court to convene. It is the intention of the change to limit any arguments as the parties continue to work towards co-parenting.

If you have questions about your child support obligation, contact one of our experienced family law attorneys for advice!


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