Monday, January 9, 2012

Child Support in Idaho - Boise Family Law Lawyers (208) 472-2383

How is Child Support Determined in Idaho?

As a Boise Divorce Attorney, many people ask me who decides how much their child support will be.  My standard answer is, child support in Idaho is determined by the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. That doesn't tell you much, does it?  

What are the Idaho Child Support Guidelines and what information do they use to set child support?  The purpose of the guidelines is to give guidance in setting a fair child support amount while taking into account the diverse needs and resources available in individual cases.  In other words, it is an attempt to not make a one size fits all child support determination.  In my family law practice I see often see two families, who make the same income, but who have very different resources available to them, as well as greatly varying needs.  This having been said, however, the guidelines also acknowledge that the cost to raise a child is related to the income of the family.  But it also holds that the proportion of family income designated for the support of children remains fairly constant, despite different incomes.

The guidelines apply to the support of all children when custody and support are part of a judicial proceeding, including when there is a divorce or simply a custody action.  Child support is due and owing up until a child reaches 18 years of age, or 19 if they are still in high school.

The guidelines provide a formula for a basic child support determination.  It also provides for off-set considerations.  Some of the adjustments to child support include child care costs, transportation, tax benefit, health insurance premiums and out of pocket health expenses not covered by insurance, and disability or retirement issues, shared physical custody, extended overnights, split physical custody and income over $300,000/year.

The basic formula for child support takes a percentage of both parents income and makes a determination as to how much support it takes to rear a child.  The child support is prorated proportionally to their income.  If one parent does not have an income they are assigned a "potential" income.  In general, this is based upon previous employment or what they could earn based upon their skill level.

Boise Divorce Lawyers deal with the child support guidelines regularly and are very adept at crunching the numbers.  To the general public, however, the guidelines can seem like a convoluted mess.

If you are seeking a divorce or custody and need to speak to a Boise Family Law attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

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