When a court orders child support it first looks at what the custody arrangement is.  If the parties share joint physical custody then the parties’ child support obligation is averaged and the person who makes more pays the other parent.  The parties share joint physical custody if they both have the child for more than 40% of the time.   If one parent has primary physical custody then the Court determines what the non-custodial parent’s income is and applies the statutory formula to determine the child support obligation.  There are reasons for deviation from the formula such as the cost of health insurance, the cost of child care, if the child has special needs and if the person paying child support has a legal obligation to pay child support for other children to mention a few.


Generally, a person’s marital status and community income is not relevant.  One exception is if there is a large income disparity between the parties.  Then the court may make special findings and order a deviation.  This is rare.

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