Many people going through a divorce or child custody situation in which child support is involved think that the support amount is determined by the courts through a formula, and that both parties have no choice but to accept the outcome. However, this is only half true.
Depending on your state, there likely is a specific worksheet that the courts use to determine the initial child support obligation. Influencing factors include: how much both parents have been making, including any bonuses or overtime pay; health insurance costs, out-of-pocket medical expenses, any childcare expenses; and who gets the federal tax exemption. Once all these numbers have been plugged into the worksheet, it provides an initial amount for the child support.