If you’re wondering how to file for child support, you can save yourself time (and likely some expense) if you gather some information before you begin to enter information in our child support calculator at ChildSupportTools.com or meet with an attorney. We outline eight ways to prepare.
- Determine how many hours each month the child will spend with each parent (in Kansas exclude time spent at school and daycare). If you are calculating child support for more than one child, and they don’t all spend the same hours with each parent, it is important to calculate time spent with each child separately. Example: In a week (Sunday thru Saturday), there are 168 hours. If a child spends an average of 7 hours in school or daycare (35 hours), that leaves 133 hours in the week to allocate between the parents. Include sleeping as well as waking hours.
- Find out the monthly cost of premiums for health insurance to cover the child, not the parents. If the policy covers the child as well as the parents, find out how much more the family policy costs than it would if it only covered the parents.
- Establish the daycare expenses paid for each child by each parent.
- Gather income information for each parent. You will want the income tax returns, payroll stubs and information about self-employment income and business expenses.
- Confirm each parent’s primary residence. This is especially important if you live in different states
- Calculate the amount of any alimony (spousal support or “maintenance”) presently being paid or an estimate of what it will be.
- Determine or estimate any travel expenses for the non-custodial parent (or the children), if needed, to permit the children to spend time with the non-custodial parent. Example: Travel expenses are any expenses associated in regards to parenting the child. This can be gasoline, airfare, hotel expenses and internet costs if an online video chat service (e.g. Skype) to communicate.
- If the parents will share “direct expenses” equally (money paid to third parties for things like education, clothing, activities — everything except housing, transportation and utilities), you’ll want a copy of a written parenting agreement providing for the sharing of those expenses.
With this information on hand, you’ll have pretty much everything you need to create a child support calculation ready to file in court.
[Note: The statements and information in this blog are necessarily general in nature and are not intended as legal advice. Relying on the information in this blog is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. You should consult a qualified attorney for specific guidance based on your specific circumstances.]