A parent’s basic child support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act covers basic living expenses such as food, clothing, housing, and transportation. Expenses for childcare, health insurance premiums, uncovered medical expenses and education are “add-ons”, that is, are in addition to the basic child support obligation.
The child support formula of the Child Support Standards Act is used to calculate a parent’s basic child support obligation. The child support is based upon income and the number of unemancipated children under the age of 21. Once the appropriate child support percentage is applied to the combined parental income, the court must consider the add-ons.
When the custodial parent is working or receiving elementary, secondary, or higher education or vocational training which will lead to employment, and incurs child care expenses as a result, the court shall determine reasonable child care expenses and pro-rate them between the parents. When the custodial parent is seeking work, rather than being employed or completing education, it is within the discretion of the court to determine the appropriation of child care expenses.
The Child Support Standards Act also requires that the court determine each parent’s obligation for health insurance premiums and uncovered medical expenses for the children.
Because private school and college educational expenses are not considered necessary, the court makes a determination as to the amount of educational expenses the parents shall pay, based upon the circumstances of the case and the respective parties and the best interests of the children.