How much can I expect child support to be?
The answer depends first on the custody schedule, and then on income. If one parent has primary physical custody (meaning the children live with that parent 70% or more of the overnights each year), then the other parent will pay child support. This is true no matter how much the primary custodial parent earns. But if the parents share custody (meaning the children live with each parent more than 30% of the overnights), then the parent who earns more will generally pay child support.
Child support is calculated by looking at the parent’s income from all sources (including your PFD), then subtracting certain allowable deductions, like federal income taxes, Social Security and Medicare contributions, some payments into retirement plans, etc., and then multiplying a percentage of the net number based on the number of minor children.
The State of Alaska provides a helpful calculator to run a rough calculation:
If one or both of the parents provide health insurance for the children, there is a credit available to the parent providing the insurance for one-half the cost of the children’s share of the out-of-pocket insurance premium.
Generally the child support calculation is fairly simple and mechanical, but sometimes it is not, such as in the case of seasonal income, self-employment, or if one of the parents is not employed to their full ability.
If you have further questions about child support, please feel free to call me for a free telephone consultation.
Doug Perkins, at Hartig Rhodes LLC, has an active family law practice, including prenuptial agreements and adoptions, and cases involving divorce, property, child custody and support, and domestic violence.