Parents who split up continue to have responsibilities for any children they share. One such responsibility is financially supporting the children, which generally means one parent pays child support. This might sound simple on the surface, but complications can arise.
For instance, how much child support might the courts require you to pay if you are a high earner?
In most circumstances, parties and the courts will use a standard economic table to estimate the amount a parent will pay. This table accounts for the number of children needing support and the parents’ combined monthly income.
What the table does not account for is unusual circumstances, like a high-earning parent.
Using traditional calculations could ultimately result in a parent paying far more than their fair share – and more than what is even necessary. As such, when monthly net combined incomes exceed $12,000, the table stops taking that additional income into account.
What to know about deviations
In many situations, courts and parents can deviate from the guidelines. Deviations can be appropriate when one or both parents are high earners, for instance.
And other factors like parenting time can require even more consideration outside of the traditional calculations. For instance, in cases where parents have equal or nearly equal parenting time, one parent will typically still be under court orders to pay support. However, paying as much as a parent with much less parenting time may not make sense.
Thus, when you have exceptional circumstances like a high income, calculating child support will involve some degree of negotiation and discussion. Often, keeping these cases out of court can help parents reach a mutually agreeable support arrangement that reflects the specificities of their situation.
Working with an attorney and financial professionals can help parents with special circumstances navigate economic conversations fairly and with the correct information.