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Child support is monetary payment for the support and well-being of a child. Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to cover the child’s day-to-day expenses, such as: food, shelter, clothing, educational expenses, and medical expenses. In Idaho, child support is paid to the custodial parent until the child reaches the legal age of 18, or age 19 if the child is still in high school.

Child support is normally determined by which parent has primary custody of a child. Therefore, child support is a privilege of child custody. You may want to review the facts on the child custody page, because in most cases, you cannot receive child support unless you have physical custody of a child. The parent who does not have primary physical custody usually pays child support. This payment is normally a monthly payment to the other parent for support of the child. Many times circumstances change that make the initial child support in a divorce decree or custody order too low, or too high, and changing the amount becomes necessary to bring the support within the guidelines established by Idaho law. This does require going back to court in most cases. However, if the parties are in agreement, it does not have to be a difficult or expensive matter.

These changes are very fact dependent, so a consultation with a family law attorney is a good idea to determine whether you are receiving (or paying) the correct amount of child support.

Some common problems people have with child support are:

  • Support needs to be modified due to changes in one or both parent’s incomes.
  • Support is going to parent with whom a child no longer resides.
  • Parent obligated to pay is not paying.
  • Support is not in accordance with legal guidelines.

Child Support Payments

When a custodial parent requests child support from the non-custodial parent, the court must calculate the amount of child support that should be paid on a month-to-month basis. To do this, the court will use a formula that takes into consideration the gross incomes of each parent, other children each parent is responsible for supporting, the custody schedule and other factors in order to determine the correct amount of support. The Idaho Child Support Guidelines govern the setting of child support in Idaho. In addition to the basic support each parent is responsible for a pro-rata share of medical insurance and out-of-pocket medical expenses and work related child care expenses. In certain situations the Court may order sharing of child care expenses for a parent attending school such as college or a trade school. It is important to have legal representation when establishing, modifying or enforcing child support.