Simple Child Support Calculator
To calculate child support in the United States, you need to use a calculator for the state where the child lives.
Please choose a state using the select tool above or from the list of states at the bottom of the page.
Every state has a unique set of child support guidelines, meaning the calculation method is always state-specific. Depending on the state, the calculator could be simple and easy to use, or complicated and difficult.
Parenting Time Overnights Calculator
Child support payments often depend on how much time a child spends with each parent. The most common and simplest way to calculate parenting time is by the number of overnights a child has with each parent in a typical year.
Use this calculator to work out how much care a parent provides, expressed as both overnights per year and the parenting time percentage.
Calculate annual overnight stays
Vacation nights each year*
183 overnight stays per year.
50.0% of parenting time.
* Vacation nights are all nights when the regular schedule does not apply.
How Child Support is Calculated in USA
Child support payments in USA are calculated using the various method. Payments depend on the unique way support obligations are calculated in your state. We have classed the calculation methods into several groups. You can see which applies on each state calculator page.
- With the income shares calculation method, parents notionally contribute to a pool of funds based on their incomes and the number of children. The funds are then distributed back to the parents according to parenting time percentages. You receive child support if your overall contribution is tilted more towards parenting time than earning income.
- The income percentage method designates each parent as a custodial or non-custodial parent. Only the income of the non-custodial parent matters. A percentage of his or income, with the exact percentage depending on the number of children, is given to the other parent. There may be an adjustment for parenting time percentages.
- With the income shares only method, parents contribute to child support based on their share of combined income. The custodial parent receives the money and the non-custodial parent pays, with no adjustment for the amount of parenting time each parent puts in.
- The income shares category method is a hybrid system. Payments depend on the incomes of the parents. Adjustments are made according to parenting time categories. For example, payments may be lower when there is shared parenting instead of sole custody.
- A scenario based method puts each case into a particular group, based on characteristics such as the number of overnights per year. A different calculation applies to each group.
The calculation of child support in the United States is generally more complicated than it should be. And when it is simple, the results are often unfair. Overall, the schemes are less beneficial to children than they should be because they encourage parents to work less and/or try to dominate parenting time.
We believe the ideal system would only look at the income of the parent with less than 50% parenting time. He or she would pay based on income, the number and ages of children, and parenting time contributed. With equal shared care, no child support would be payable. Close to 50:50, the amounts would be small.
States calculate child support using one of two methods: the percentage of income model or the income share model. However, there are a few states that calculate child support based on a hybrid of both approaches.Debrina Washington
Payment Calculators by State