Child Support

Coeur d’Alene Child Support Attorney

Child Support in a Idaho Divorce

According to a 2020 report on child support, 39.6 percent of custodial fathers received child support in 2015 as compared to 52.7 percent of custodial mothers. About 12 percent of child support agreements are informal, established between the two parents. 88 percent are formal agreements, established either in court or through a Title IV-D agency. Of the 6.8 million custodial parents awarded child support in 2015, only 43.5 percent received all the child support money due to fthem.

Just as child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child, child support will also have some element of the best interests of the child, even though there is a formula used to determine child support. Idaho, like other states, decrees that both parents should share responsibility for providing for their child’s support. The process for determining child support usually begins by including child support provisions in your Divorce Decree and Parenting Plan. You can also contact an attorney to initiate a child support order, or you can apply for services through CSS (Child Support Services).


Why Choose a Coeur d’Alene Child Support Attorney from Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys?

If you are going through a divorce, then your divorce attorney will handle the child custody and child support portions of your divorce as well. Having a solid, well-respected, highly experienced child support attorney can make a difference in the final outcome. The Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys have vast amounts of experience in the family law field—thirty years. Over those thirty years, we have helped thousands of people resolve their family law issues. We exclusively practice family law. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County.

While many law firms may practice many different types of law, we do one thing—and we do it very well. We are a client-centric law firm, employing intense case preparation. We are results- driven and always want our clients to be glad they chose our firm. We aim higher than simply helping you navigate technical legal processes like filing petitions, drafting documents, and attending hearings. Of course, we do all those things as well, but we want our clients to have the best experience possible during these trying times.

How is Child Support Calculated in Idaho?

When a court is determining child support, the following factors come into consideration:

  • Whether the child has any financial resources of his or her own
  • The specific educational, physical, and emotional needs of the child
  • The standard of living the child would have were it not for the divorce of his or her parents
  • The obligations, needs, and financial resources of both parents
  • The tax benefits for the parent claiming the dependency exemption on his or her federal income tax
  • Which parent will provide medical insurance coverage for the child

The state of Idaho uses the Income Shares Model when calculating child support. This model estimates the amount of support the child would have had if the marriage had not dissolved. This estimated amount is then divided in a proportionate manner according to the income of each parent. An Idaho child support worksheet, along with estimated incomes is used to reach an amount of child support. Estimated incomes are determined by using past pay records. If one parent has a higher income than the other, then the parent with the higher income will be responsible for a larger share of financial support.

Child support obligations will also depend on whether one parent has primary custody and the other has visitation. Once all the numbers are put into the formula and an amount of child support is determined, both parents will have the opportunity to show that the award of child support would be unjust or inappropriate. Extraordinary expenses will either be treated as add-ons or deductions. If a deviation in support is ordered by the judge, he or she must make a written finding on the record, explaining why the specific circumstances of the two parents and the child warrant such a deviation. Child support will continue until the child turns 18 or can be extended to age 19 if the child is enrolled in formal education and a court order is in place.

The gross income of each parent will include wages, bonuses, pensions, dividends, etc. Fringe benefits will include free housing, company care, or any other type of company benefits. Potential income is for parents who are considered to be underemployed (unless disabled). Because parents may sometimes leave a good job to take a minimum wage job as a means of lowering child support payments, the court will look at education, job history, and skills to determine if a parent is deliberately underemployed. If this is the case, then the amount the parent could be earning will be imputed, rather than what he or is currently earning.

Adjustments to the gross income in the form of child support payments made for other children, spousal maintenance to the other parent in this matter, etc. will be calculated, then any adjustments such as childcare expenses and tax benefits will be put into the mix. The Guidelines Income will be added for each parent, then the combined Guideline Incomes will be matched to the Basic Monthly Child Support Guidelines schedule to determine the monthly child support. Then the determination as to which parent pays which amount of the monthly child support will be based on each parent’s income and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

What Happens if a Parent Does Not Pay Court-Ordered Child Support?

Parents that fail to pay their court-ordered child support could find themselves in serious trouble by the court as well as CSS. A withholding order is the most commonly used child support enforcement tool and all child support orders in the state are subject to an automatic withholding order. When the parent paying child support falls even one month behind, the payment will be automatically deducted from that parent’s monthly paycheck. An Idaho Court and/or CSS can also do any of the following for unpaid child support:

  • Delinquent child support amounts can be reported to credit bureaus.
  • The parent responsible for paying child support can have his or her bank account garnished.
  • Any federal or state tax returns of the paying parent can be intercepted.
  • Some federal benefits can be intercepted for non-payment of child support, however, veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, need-based payments, and certain types of Social Security cannot be withheld.
  • The parent who is not making court ordered child support payments can have his or her child support can have his or her driver’s license suspended.
  • Any professional or vocational licenses can be suspended if the amount of past-due child support is over $2,000.
  • A lien can be filed against the house or land of the parent who is behind on child support.
  • Retirement benefits (PERSI) can be intercepted.
  • Parents that owe more than $2,500 can have their passport revoked.
  • Contempt proceedings may be instigated, requiring the paying parent to appear in court and explain why he or she has failed to pay child support.
  • A judge can sign a judgment for past-due child support; such a judgment can have disastrous effects on the parent’s credit score.
  • A delinquent child support case can be referred to the U.S. Attorney for federal prosecution.

How Does Shared Custody Affect Child Support in Idaho?

Many parents wonder whether either parent will pay child support in a shared custody situation. This will depend on the many factors listed above. Idaho law does take shared custody into consideration when using the child support formula to calculate payment amounts. This means that when custody is shared, the amount of child support the paying parent pays will be reduced according to the amount of time they have custody of the child.

How Are Extraordinary Medical Costs Handled Through Child Support?

If a child has extraordinary medical costs that are separate from basic child support payments, the parents will be bound by specialized Idaho guidelines. Extraordinary medical costs may be incurred as a result of an illness, an accident, or costly (necessary) medical procedures. Such costs are considered a “permissive deduction” for basic child support.

One option is to require each parent to share the cost of uninsured medical expenses based on a proportion of their monthly income. An alternative to this is to require the noncustodial parent to share in the cost of the uninsured medical expenses when the amount is more than a specific percentage of the original child support. There may be a distinction between recurring and non-recurring health care costs.

Are Child Support Payments Taxed in Idaho?

The parent that pays child support is allowed to deduct those child support payments on their federal tax return. The parent that receives child support is not required to pay federal tax on those payments. Alimony payments, on the other hand, are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payer.

How a Coeur d’Alene Child Support Attorney with Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys Help You?

At Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys, we consistently provide high-quality representation for our clients. We want your case to be successful and will work hard to ensure a positive outcome. We believe you will be glad you chose us when your family law issue is complete. Because we are always extraordinarily prepared, we are ready to tackle any issue that might arise in your case. We are ready and able to help you immediately and we have the skills and experience to do that. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County. Contact Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys today.

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