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How does wealth impact child support calculations?

Child support is a complex and contentious issue. No parent wants to write a check each month in lieu of spending time with his or her child. For parents who do not have primary custody, though, this is often the sacrifice that they must make. If you are in this situation, you may be wondering how your income, assets and wealth will ultimately determine the amount of child support the court orders you to pay.

All of these factors do play a role in calculating your monthly support payments, but the system does not necessarily treat parents with a high net worth differently than any others. Still, you should be aware of the following questions when you are wondering how your income will impact child support. 

Expenses of parenthood

The first factor that a court will look at is the expenses of parenthood that the custodial parent faces. Even if parents share custody, though, the general expenses of the lower earning parents will be the first consideration. These include education, medical bills, nutrition and general necessities. The court determines the sum total of these costs to calculate what amount a parent owes in support

Standard of living

Of course, the cost of these items depends on the standard of living that a child has been accustomed to. A child who attends a private school and takes music lessons every week will have higher expenses than a child in public school who does not have such extracurricular expenses. If your income has provided a higher standard of living for your child, it is typically your responsibility to maintain that standard.

Wealth of parents

Of course, while the base consideration of factors for child support does not change based on a parent's income, those who earn more may still end up paying more. According to the Huffington Post, wealthier parents may have an extra percentage of their income subject to collection for child support. This could result in the creation of a trust for a child to cover additional expenses later in life.

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