How Much Child Support Costs for 1 Kid

Child Support Payments How Much Child Support Costs for 1 Kid

How Much is Child Support For 1 Kid?

Even if you only have one child, that kid may need child support to get the necessary care that they deserve. However, that requires the custodial parent to apply for child support. It leaves the non-custodial parent to wonder just ?

Any custodial parent who needs child support to cover their kids' expenses must file the appropriate paperwork. Likewise, a non-custodial parent is required to pay that child support under a court order. If you don't know how much child support you should be receiving or paying, DoNotPay can provide assistance.

How Much is the Average Child Support Payment?

The Census Bureau determined that the average child support payment is around $430. However, that number varies greatly depending on where you live and how many children need support.

The way child support payments are calculated varies by state. Some states use a shared income model to determine child support payments, while others charge a flat percentage fee.

That percentage fee is only taken out of the non-custodial parent's income, usually 17% for . For the shared income method, the payment amount will depend on a few factors:

  • Both incomes of the parents
  • Any child support paid by either parent in previous marriages
  • Average daycare or general childcare costs required by the child
  • The percentage of custody for each parent

What if I Owe Child Support For One Kid?

A child support demand letter might come out of nowhere, leaving the non-custodial parent totally unprepared. Once both parties agree to the order, you usually only have a month or two to prepare.

Even though you might be separated from your former spouse, you probably still want to support your child. Keeping up with child support payments doesn't have to be difficult. You can keep yourself accountable by:

  • Reducing your spending
  • Making partial payments
  • Setting up automatic payments (if the amount isn't taken out of your paycheck)

In many states, you must pay child support regularly until your child is 18 or 21 years old. However, extensions can be arranged for children with special needs, or those who have been held back a grade.

Alternatively, if your child is emancipated before the age of maturity, you can stop making child support payments. If your occupation changes, you can also apply for lower payments by modifying the child support agreement.

Child support is usually tax-free for the custodial parent. The IRS also forbids the non-custodial parent from writing off child support payments.

What if Someone Refuses to Pay Child Support?

The biggest thing you want to avoid is owing back child support. When that happens, the government can withhold your earnings and even revoke your driver's license.

You can also accrue child support arrears if you refuse to pay or relocate without modifying the child support order. In many states, refusing a court order means you'll have to pay interest on past-due child support.

Just like any court order, you can also be held in contempt of court if you refuse to pay child support. You may have to pay a hefty fine or even go to jail for a few days.

Average Child Support Guides by State

Every state has a different application process for getting child support payments. Some states might also have stricter consequences for those that refuse to pay child support.

For a more in-depth look at the policies in your state, please consult our guides for:

DelawareNew MexicoWashington State
HawaiiNew HampshireCalifornia
MissouriNevadaNew York
ConnecticutArizonaNew Jersey
South CarolinaAlabamaIowa
North DakotaWest VirginiaPennsylvania
LouisianaOregonNorth Carolina 
Rhode IslandIdahoTexas

Is There an Easier Way to Demand Overdue Child Support Payments?

Receiving child support can alleviate many stressors after a separation. However, it might take a long time to receive child support payments if the other parent won't comply.

If you want to file a demand letter for late child support payments but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in three easy steps:

  1. Search child support on DoNotPay and enter the details of the person who owes the payments. 
  2. Tell us more about the payment schedule, including the amount and frequency of the payments, the last payment they made and number of missed payments, and how much they owe you in total. 
  3. Confirm your contact information and select whether you want us to mail or email the letter on your behalf. Choose how you would like to receive the payment and verify your signature. 

DoNotPay Calculates Child Support for Any Household

What if you need child support for three kids, or need to apply for child support debt relief in another state? No worries. This DoNotPay product can be used by families of all sizes, located nationwide.

For a rough idea of how child support is calculated, input your own information below to get a ballpark idea of how much child support may be owed in your case.

Step One: Identify Income

List the monthly income for each parent then calculate the total combined monthly income (I) then identify the percentage that each parent contributes to that value (p1 and P2).


Obligee/Custodial ParentObligor/Non-Custodial Parent
Monthly Income (i1)Monthly Income (i2)Combined Monthly Income (I=(i1+i2))
Contribution to Income Income (p1=i1/I)Contribution to Income Income (p1=i1/I)

Step Two: Identity Basic Parental Obligation

In order to calculate how much each parent would spend raising a child, use an expenditures table like the example below to list the associated costs of raising a child where you live.  Then sum the total expenditures (e) and multiply that by the number of children shared (n) for the total parental obligation (O).

Ordinary Expenses Associated With Raising Children
  • Housing: Rent, utilities, mortgage, property taxes, insurance, etc.
  • Apparel: Clothing, shoes
  • Food
  • Transportation: Finance charges, leases, gas & oil, maintenance & repairs, etc. o
  • Entertainment: Admission, lessons, activity fees, pets, toys, equipment o
  • Miscellaneous: Personal care, etc.
  • Education and Extracurricular Activities: Ordinary costs for education and extracurricular activities
Medical Insurance
  • Premiums
  • Dedicutables
  • Copays
  • Daycare
  • Pre-K education
  • After/before school care
Extraordinary Medical Expenses
  • Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses
  • Catastrophic illness or injury expenses

Once you have the sum of all expenditures, multiply that total by the percentage (as a decimal) each parent contributes to the monthly income in order to assign basic parental obligation.

Obligee/Custodial ParentObligor/Non-Custodial Parent
Monthly IncomeMonthly IncomeCombined Monthly Income (I)
%  of Combined Income (p1)% of Combined Income (p2)
Total Basic  Parental Obligation (O=en)
Obligee Parental Obligation (b1=O(p1))Obligor Parental Obligation (b2=O(p1))

Step Three: Make Physical Care Adjustments

Because the expenses of raising a child in two households are often duplicated, the basic child support obligation must be multiplied by 1.5 to account for the associated costs. Then, each parent’s proportional amount of the shared physical care obligation is multiplied by the percentage of time the other parent spends with the child.

The respective child support obligations are offset, with the parent owing more child support paying the difference between the child support amounts.

Obligee/Custodial ParentObligor/Non-Custodial Parent
Monthly Income (i1)Monthly Income (i2)Combined Monthly Income (I=(i1+i2))
Contribution to Income Income (p1=i1/I)Contribution to Income Income (p1=i1/I)
Total Basic  Parental Obligation (O=en)
Obligee Basic Parental Obligation (b1=O(p1))Obligor Basic Parental Obligation (b2=O(p1))
% of Custodial Time (t1)% of Custodial Time (t2)Shared Physical Care Adjustment (A=O(1.5))
% of Custodial Time (t1)% of Custodial Time (t2)
Obligee Child Support Obligation (s1=A(t1))Obligor Child Support Obligation (s2=A(t2))Total Child Support Owed by Obligor (S=s2-s1)

Can DoNotPay Solve Other Problems?

You bet. We write all kinds of demand letters, apply for financial relief on your behalf, and even help you reach divorce settlements. Best of all, DoNotPay solutions are always simple and straightforward.

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