What is the Connection Between Child Support and Income?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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The primary connection between child support and income is that the amount of support ordered to be paid is typically based on how much the non-custodial parent earns. This generally includes all income, including tips, wages, and money earned as a self-employed person. Monthly or yearly expenses are also considered, along with the number of other children the parent has who are either being given monetary support or living with him or her.

Child support and income are closely linked in terms of determining a court ordered agreement for monetary support of the custodial parent. The take home pay of the non-custodial parent is recorded, along with any monthly expenses and additional dependents under his or her care. This means that the more a person earns, the more child support he or she can be ordered to pay. Other factors may also play a role in this process, such as the number of visitation days the parent has with the child and the number of children he or she has with the person seeking support.

Sometimes child support and income are not taken into consideration together. In cases where both parents can come to an agreement without a court order, it will be up to them how much should be paid and how often. This often has drawbacks for the custodial parent, because there will be no consequences if money is late or not paid at all.


In some cases child support and income are related in terms of the custodial parent and if the court believes he or she needs the additional income to properly care for the child. This is not generally the way it works, but in extreme cases the non-custodial parent may not be able to pay any amount of child support. Occasionally, a judge may rule that he or she doesn't have to pay if the opposing party makes a large amount of money. This is not often the case, however, and happens only under specialized circumstances.

Other factors which affect child support arrangements include the ages of the children, whether or not the paternity of the child has been determined, and whether or not there is a court-ordered custody agreement. Changes in income should be reported to the court so that adjustments in the amount of support paid can be made. If the parent loses his or her job, this should also be taken into consideration until another place of employment is found.



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