In divorces that involve children, mediators or a judge typically determine which of the two parents will have custody of the child or children for the majority of the time. While it is hoped that children can spend the same amount or nearly the same amount of time with each parent, a whole host of issues are considered in the determination of child custody. These factors might include (but not be limited to) the children’s relationship with each parent, the proximity of each parents’ homes to the children’s school or schools, the position and income of each parent, and sometimes even the children’s’ own preferences (if the children are over a certain age, depending upon the state in which they live).

Once child custody is determined, one parent is named as the custodial parent, and the other parent is named as the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is also usually ordered to pay child support, although both parents are considered to be responsible for paying for the child’s needs.

The Mountain West states of Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming each have their own system of calculating child support based on the income of the parents.

Calculating Child Support in Idaho

Idaho judges refer to the current Idaho Child Support Guidelines when making determinations about child support. Both parents must pay based on their combined “guideline” incomes. The number of children they have is also considered. Each parent is assigned a percentage of income to pay based on his or her income percentage. For example, if parent A earns $3,000 a month and parent B earns $7,000 a month, for a total of $10,000 of monthly income between the two of them, parent A would be responsible for 30% of the support amount and parent B for 70% of the support amount.

Idaho Child Support Calculator from AllLaw.com
Calculating Child Support in Utah

Utah law requires that both parents support their children financially if at all possible. Each parent must pay based on the number of children they have, the income of each parent, and any existing custody arrangement. Utah uses a formulaic fee schedule to determine child support. Parents may choose to pay more than the amount mandated by the state guidelines, but may not pay less than that amount. The Utah Court makes the final determination on an acceptable amount of child support, and may adjust child support higher or lower if the Court feels that the adjustment will make the child support payments more fair in some way.

Utah Child Support Calculators from the Utah Department of Human Services (for Sole, Joint, and Split Custody)

Calculating Child Support in Wyoming

Like Idaho and Utah, Wyoming also uses a formula and a set of guidelines when determining child support.First, Wyoming considers the net income of the parents. For example, if one parent has a net income of $3500 a month, and the other has a net income of $1500 a month, that comes to a joint net income of $5000 a month.

Per Wyoming state guidelines for calculating child support, each parent must pay a certain percentage of his or her income based on how many children the couple has. For two children, Wyoming parents must pay between 20-36.8% of their net income, plus an additional percentage of income above a baseline amount. In the scenario discussed here, two parents with two children and a joint net income of $5000 would have a joint support obligation of $1,381.55 ($414.47 from the parent with the $1500 monthly net income and $967.09 from the parent with the $3500 monthly net income). Each parent would be expected to pay that amount. Wyoming calculates child support differently in situations of sole, joint, and split custody.

Wyoming Child Support Calculator from the government of Laramie County, WY

Graham Norris and the associates of the Norris Law Group are skilled in all areas of family law, including child custody and child support in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Contact our offices today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation to discuss child support and child custody as part of your divorce case.