How the New Child Support Guidelines May Affect Your Bottom Line: Part Two


Under the old guidelines, the parent paying child support would receive a reduction in his or her child support obligation if the children spent 25% of their time in the paying parent’s care. This is called a parenting time credit, and it is designed to recognize the financial contributions made by the nonresidential parent when their children are in their care. The problem with this model was that it provided no credit for parents with 24% of the parenting time or less, and frequently caused parents to try and design their parenting plan around how much they wanted to pay or receive in child support.

The new guidelines address this issue by giving parenting time credits to all parents exercising parenting time, basing the credit on a graduated curve. As a parent gets closer to 50% parenting time, he or she will see larger credits to the support order. Under the new system, parents are encouraged to work out a parenting plan that suits the needs of their children rather than their wallet.

If you have not had your child support order recalculated in a number of years, or if your parenting plan has changed significantly, you may benefit from speaking to a family law professional about how this and other changes to the Child Support Guidelines could affect your support order.