The worksheet first requires the input of co-parenting days for each parent. For example, if parents are sharing co-parenting duties fifty-fifty, then each party would be given credit for 182.5 days in the worksheet. If co-parenting is not fifty-fifty, then one must determine the correct allocation of days. A "day" for child support purposes equals at least twelve (12) hours of co-parenting. Many parents utilize an every-other-weekend schedule, which normally gives the alternate parent between 80 and 120 days and therefore the primary parent would receive between 245 and 285 days.
The next item that must be included is each parents' gross monthly income (before taxes). This includes self-employment income, bonuses, commissions, social security income and unemployment. If a party is unable to produce proof of income or if proved that they are purposefully unemployed or underemployed, an amount of income may be assigned (imputed) to them for worksheet purposes. This number is determined by the Judge or Magistrate presiding over the matter.
Parents then may receive a credit for the following items: health insurance premiums paid for the children; daycare costs; other children not born of the marriage who either live with them, they receive child support for, or for whom they pay child support. Occasionally, tuition and other expenses may be included as well. An individual's monthly expenses are not considered in calculating child support.
The Final Amount
A current obligation for ongoing, monthly support will then be adopted by the Court according to the worksheet's calculations. If an arrearage (an unpaid past child support amount) is determined to be owed, a monthly amount in addition to the current obligation will also be set. For example, if a party is $4,500 in arrears, the Court could very well add $125 per month to the current obligation to ensure the arrearage will be paid back within three years.