Who Pays Child Support?
In a Rhode Island divorce proceeding the parent that the child or children does not live with (the “non-placement parent”) should anticipate paying child support.
What is Rhode Island Child Support?
Rhode Island Child Support is typically an amount of money that the court orders the parent the children do not live with (the “non-placement parent”) to pay to the parent the child(ren) lives with ( the “placement parent”) the for the care, support and maintenance of the minor child(dren).
How is Rhode Island Child Support calculated?
For the purposes of this article it is necessary to understand that Rhode Island Child Support is based upon the gross incomes of both parents.
Though Rhode Island Child Support can and often is, somewhat complicated to calculate, the foundation of a basic calculation to arrive at a recommended minimum order involves taking the combined gross monthly income of the parents and applying it to the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines table. Using the combined gross monthly income of the parents together with the number of children on the Child Support Table, a proposed minimum amount of support that the child(ren) are entitled to each month is provided by the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines table / chart.
You should note that there are both mandatory and optional deductions that may be made from a parent’s gross monthly income if certain criteria are met. This section is not an all inclusive explanation of how child support is figured in every instance, rather it is an overall view of a basic calculation assuming no other deductions.
When do the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines provide for support increases?
Of course it stands to reason that the higher the combined gross income of the parents, the higher the child(dren)’s standard of living and thus the higher the total child support the children are entitled to on a monthly basis. Therefore the total child support obligation the child(dren) is entitled to on a monthly basis will go up incrementally as the combined gross income of the child’s parents goes up.
Each parent, however, is typically held responsible for his or her percentage of the monthly child support obligation for both parents that his income is to the total. Thus, if you make $3,700 per month and your spouse makes $6,300 per month, then your total combined gross monthly income is $10,000 per month.
A quick calculation shows that you make 37% of that total income and your spouse makes the other 63%. Therefore, whatever the total child support is for your child according to the guidelines, the non-placement parent will pay his or her percentage multiplied by the total child support. (i.e. If the child support monthly total is $1,000 and you are the non-placement parent you would pay child support of $370 per month).
How is overtime pay factored into Rhode Island Child Support?
A strict reading of the Rhode Island Child Support guidelines demonstrates that overtime is not required to be considered by the court in the gross income of a party. However, that does not mean that it is not considered.
Overtime is a factor left to the discretion of the judge handling your case. Therefore, it may or may not be considered based upon the circumstances of your case or the judge hearing your case.
However, if you have consistently worked overtime, have used the overtime pay to provide for your children, and your matter is heard before a judge who believes that all or a portion of overtime should be considered, you can expect that your child support is likely to be higher than those who do not work overtime.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should not take legal action without legal advice from a licensed practitioner who has been fully informed about your specific circumstances.
Authored by: Attorney Christopher Pearsall Pearsall Law Associates 571 Pontiac Avenue Cranston, RI 02910 Phone: (401) 354-2369
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