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As with most legal questions, the answer is, "It depends!" Calculating child support is fairly easy in some cases and more difficult in others. Generally, the biggest factor in the amount of support that will be ordered is the income of the parent who pays support. However, other factors include the income of the parent receiving support, child care expenses, health insurance expenses, and whether either party has other children. It may also be important whether the children will spend most of their time with one parent or almost equal time with each parent.
Each party is required to fill out a child support affidavit to disclose their income and other financial information. Then, a child support worksheet is used to calculate the amount of support that will be paid. This may be done by the parties, their lawyers, a mediator or the court. The worksheet tells you how much child support will be under the "Child Support Guidelines".
In some cases, there is a good reason for child support to be more or less than the amount that the Child Support Guidelines provide. In those cases, the court can decide that another amount should be paid as support. Those cases may involve the educational needs of each child, inflation, whether either party is remarried, transportation costs for child visitation, and the financial resources of each party.
Usually child support is paid by "income withholding". The payor's employer withholds the support amount from the payor's paycheck and forwards the money to the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery of the Department of Health and Human Services or by the individual entitled to receive support.
After child support has been agreed-upon or determined by the court, the court enters a child support order. Orders are enforced by the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery of the Department of Health and Human Services or by the individual entitled to receive support. A party who willfully disobeys a court order can be held in contempt and sent to jail until they comply with the court's order.