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Paying child support is an issue that many parents face after separation. The amount of child support you may have to pay to the other parent depends on a range of different factors, and for this reason it is different for every family.
Factors considered in calculating the payout include:
- income assessment of each parent
- assessment of each parent’s expenses
- assessment of the level of care that each parent provides for each child in the relationship
- if either parent has other dependents (not part of the assessment).
Each parent’s level of care is calculated as a “care percentage” and based on the number of nights a child spends with each parent. This is then used to calculate how much that care costs in dollars.
The Department of Human Services Child Support website provides an online calculator to help you determine an estimate of child support you may be required to pay to another parent.
Some parents may agree on the child support they will pay or receive from the other parent. This is called a private agreement.
Some parents also choose to have a lawyer prepare a Binding Child Support Agreement (BCSA). BCSAs may be willing to either establish an ongoing periodic payment (which does not fluctuate with income or level of care) or provide periodic payment in accordance with a child support assessment, but with additional agreement which details how parents will share other expenses such as medical expenses or education expenses, including for example private school fees.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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