Child support used to be relatively straight-forward and easy to determine. However, in 2017 the law on child support was significantly changed. Previously, child support was based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent's net income and the number of children being supported. Under the new law, child support is determined using the “income shares” model. The new formula considers the net income of BOTH parents and determines a guideline amount of support from one parent to the other. The number of children and the number of overnights each parent is allocated in the parenting plan is critical to the determination of the guideline support. In certain circumstances, the court may deviate from the child support guidelines, either going above or below the guideline support.
Child support can be entered by an agreement of the parties or by a court order after a hearing. Both agreements and orders may be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances after the entry of the support Order. A substantial change in circumstance can happen when there is a considerable change in one of the parent's financial situations (i.e. a decrease or increase in a parent's income) or changes in the child's needs.