Understanding the Income-Based Model of Child Support: How It Works and Which States Use It

February 24, 2023
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The Income-based Model of child support is a widely used system for calculating child support payments in several states across the United States. Under this model, child support payments are calculated based on the income of both parents, but without additional adjustments for healthcare and childcare costs. The model typically assumes that the custodial parent spends a higher percentage of their income on child-rearing expenses than the non-custodial parent.

States that use the Income-based Model of child support include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana. While the Income-based Model may be simpler than other models, it still requires careful consideration of several factors.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when navigating the Income-based Model of child support:

  • Understanding how income is defined: Income is defined differently in each state that uses the Income-based Model. In general, it includes any form of income, such as wages, tips, bonuses, self-employment income, and rental income. However, there may be some variations in how certain types of income are treated.
  • Paying attention to income caps: Some states may place caps on the income that can be used to calculate child support payments. For example, in Indiana, income is capped at $9,200 per month, while in Georgia, income is capped at $30,000 per month. These caps can impact the amount of child support that is paid.
  • Considering other factors: While the Income-based Model does not factor in healthcare and childcare costs, there may be other expenses that need to be considered. For example, a child with a disability may have additional medical expenses or require specialized equipment. These expenses should be factored in when calculating child support payments.
  • Staying up to date: Child support payments may need to be adjusted as circumstances change, such as a change in income or a change in the child's needs. It's important to stay up to date with any changes to child support laws or regulations in your state.

Navigating the Income-based Model of child support can be challenging, but it's important to remember that the ultimate goal is to ensure that the child's needs are being met. By carefully considering income, expenses, and other factors, parents can work together to provide the support their child needs. Looking for help with your co-parenting finances? Consider download Onward, the app that was built to help co-parents track, share and split expenses for their shared child easily.

Start managing shared expenses with your co-parent easily!