Providing Comprehensive, Hands-On Legal Help When You Need It

Determining child support in Delaware

In the state of Delaware, child support is carefully calculated to ensure that the financial needs of children are met and that each parent carries out appropriate financial responsibilities. Here are the factors and circumstances that go into the child support formula for the state of Delaware.

Overnights and custody

The first step in determining child support under Delaware family law is ascertaining the number of nights a child spends with each parent. In sole custody cases, Delaware allows for parenting time credits based on the number of nights a child spends with the non-residential parent. This credit begins once a child stays at least 110 nights with the non-residential parent and equates to a 10% credit; 133 to 150 nights leads to a 20% credit, 151 to 164 nights equals a 30% credit, and 165 to 174 nights is a 40% credit.

Joint custody scenarios in Delaware do not allot a parenting time credit to either parent. Instead, in joint custody cases, the higher earner will pay child support to the lower earner.

Number of eligible children

In order for a child to be eligible for child support calculations, the child must be under the age of 19 or still in high school. However, a child may still be eligible for child support payments past the age of 19 if the child is disabled and remains with the residential parent.

Income of each parent

The state of Delaware calculates both the residential and non-residential parent’s income by examining their gross earnings, which is income before taxes or other deductions. Gross earnings are calculated from pay stubs and tax returns.

Associated expenses for the children

In some cases, there is an adjustment of income for a parent due to particular expenses associated with the child. Examples of these expenses can include childcare, health insurance and support required for other children.

In addition to parents raising children, keeping them safe and teaching them life lessons, parents must provide financial support and security to help children thrive. Each of the above factors is crucial in determining a fair and adequate amount of child support for the children.