Find the total amount of parenting time from the court order
To adjust for the costs of parenting time, first determine the total annual amount of parenting time indicated in the court order or parenting plan, OR by the expectation or historical practice of the parents. If one parent has historically never used all or part of their parenting time, they shouldn't be allowed to reduce their child support amount for time they won't use.
Only time spent actually WITH the child will be considered.
For purposes of calculating parenting time days for child support, only the time spent by a child with the noncustodial parent is considered. Time that the child is in school or childcare is not considered.
Parenting time starts and stops when the noncustodial parent receives the child
Each "block" of time begins and ends when the noncustodial parent receives or returns the child from the custodial parent or from a third party with whom the custodial parent left the child. Third party includes, for example, a school or childcare provider. Time at school or daycare is NOT considered parenting time for the noncustodial parent.
What "one day" of parenting time means for child support purposes
Count one day of parenting time for each 24 hours within any block of time. For a period of less than 24 hours, the following rules apply:
- A period of 12 hours or more counts as one day
- A period of 6-11 hours counts as a half-day
- A period of 3 to 5 hours counts as a quarter-day
- Periods of less than 3 hours may count as a quarter-day if, during those hours, the noncustodial parent pays for routine expenses of the child, such as meals
If parenting time is essentially equal, no child support should be paid
If the time spent with each parent is essentially equal, the expenses for the children are equally shared and adjusted gross incomes of the parents are also essentially equal, no child support will be paid by either parent. If the parents' incomes are not equal, the total child support amount should be divided equally between the two households and the parent owing the greater amount will be ordered to pay the other parent enough to equalize the child support available in both households.
Apply the self support reserve test
After determining the child support order, the court should perform a self-support reserve test to make sure that the noncustodial parent is financially able to pay both child support and to maintain at least a minimum standard of living. To apply the self support reserve test, subtract $903 from the noncustodial parent's adjusted gross income. If the resulting amount is less than the child support order under the guidelines, the child support order will be reduced to that amount.
If both parents don't pass the self support reserve test and both parents have insufficient income to be self supporting, the court has discretion to determine whether and in what amount the child support order (the amount the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay) may be reduced.
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