Law and equity require every parent to support heir child and every child has a right to receive support from their parent. The amount of support is based on the paying parent's income and also on the payee parent's income. Normally the custodial parent receives support and the noncustodial parent pays support.
Unless good cause is found by the court the court must enter a child support order pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Friend of the Court Bureau. The manual containing the guidelines can be found here and its supplement can be found here.
The first step in determining child support is to determine the payor's income. If the payor receives a paycheck on a regular basis that is easy to do. Income will also include commissions and bonuses. However, if the payor is self-employed the amount of support should be gross income of the business and deductions only for reasonable business expenses. It may be necessary to subpoena the bank statements from the business account and subpoena the profit and loss statements.
If the payer is deliberately earning less income than his or her income potential the court may impute income. For example if the paying parent quits a high paying job in favor of a low paying job to avoid child support or tries to work less hours. Child support in such a case will be determined at the paying parent's potential, the amount the parent would earn had such deliberate attempts not been made.
Child care expenses and uninsured medical expenses also will be ordered and may be split between the parties on a fifty percent basis.
Child support is often awarded on a temporary basis and as your attorney we will see that there is such a temporary order in place.
Child support can always be modified on a motion to modify. Changes in circumstances are often an issue but a modification cannot be retroactive.
If you are paying child support be careful to make the payments before making a gift to the child or paying for activities outside of the support order. If money is tight make sure you do not neglect the support obligation in favor of paying for anything else as the other things will not count as credit and missed payments will be arrears.
Child support will continue until the child reaches eighteen years of nineteen and a half if the child is attending college full-time.