For some families, child support is a straightforward calculation. You plug each parent’s income in the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, and you get a final figure.
However, where a parent has other children from another relationship, the child support calculation is more complicated. Let’s say Dad pays child support pursuant to court order for child Annie from his prior marriage. He is now divorcing his second wife who is mother to child Brian. In that scenario, the court will deduct Dad’s court-ordered child support for Annie from his gross income and then use the remainder as his new gross income for the calculation for child support for Brian.
Now, let’s imagine that there is no court-ordered child support for Annie. Instead, Dad pays Annie’s mother a voluntary payment. As long as that payment is reasonable, actually being paid, and Annie does not reside with Dad, then the court will still deduct that voluntary child support for Annie from Dad’s gross income before calculating child support for Brian.
Finally, let’s imagine a situation where Dad lives with Annie, so he does not pay child support for her. In that scenario, the court would calculate a hypothetical amount of child support for Annie, pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines, and deduct that hypothetical amount from Dad’s gross income before calculating child support for Brian.
As you can see, these variations get complicated, which is why it’s important to meet with an attorney.