The Child Support Matrix

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Child support is the right of the child, not the right of the parent. Parents may not negotiate a reduction in child support in exchange for more or less alimony, assets or any other form of consideration. A parent's child support obligation is determined by an established formula referred to as the Child Support Guidelines. Components included in the formula are the income of the parents, the number of children, the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent and the age of the child. Included in determining gross income is the alimony component. So if one party is paying alimony, that obligation is deducted from the paying parent's gross income and added to the payee parent's income. Even the custodial parent is responsible for a share of the child's support. If the parents' combined income is in excess of $187,200.00, the courts will look to additional factors to determine how much additional child support should be paid in addition to what's set forth in the guidelines.