Parents can deduct certain things from their income tally used to determine child support, and they can also receive credits or allowances for covering certain things out of pocket.
Child support income deductions:
- Previous child support/alimony: If a parent is already paying child support or alimony to a previous partner, this is generally allowed to be deducted from their total income. However, these payments must be court-ordered and the parent must be up to date and actually paying the support; informal payments and support ordered but not being paid doesn’t count.
- Medical expenses: If a parent has extraordinary medical expenses that are required to maintain that person’s health, and these are not reimbursed by an insurer or other entity, these may be deducted from income.
- Health insurance paid to other children: If a parent is paying health insurance on previous children, this, like child support, may also be deducted from income.
- Unreimbursed expenses: Any expenses incurred as a condition of employment (uniforms, personal vehicle expenses for work use, etc.) that are not reimbursed can usually be deducted.
- IRS payments: Payments made to the IRS for past due taxes or other liabilities can typically be deducted.
- Care costs for other dependents: Costs for in-home nursing care for elderly parents or other dependents can typically be deducted.
- Costs of education: You may be allowed to deduct the cost of tuition, books, and mandatory student fees from your total income.
- Parenting costs: Some states may allow you to deduct costs incurred from long-distance parenting when mileage traveled exceeds a certain amount each year.
- Other court-ordered payments: Any mandatory payments or judgments against you can usually be deducted.
These are just some examples of the types of adjustment to income many states will allow. You’ll have to check the statutes of your own particular state to see what is or isn’t allowed.
Child support allowances:
Child support allowances reduce the actual amount of child support paid for things that a parent pays out of pocket, such as:
- Child care expenses: Child care expenses are considered a part of child support. So if this is paid or provided by one parent, it may be used to adjust their child support obligations.
- Health insurance: Child support orders typically dictate who is responsible for paying health insurance or require each parent to contribute. So if a parent is paying for insurance out-of-pocket – say, because they include the child on a health plan they have from work – then this can be added to the amount received or deducted from the amount owed.
DES Information that explains the different child support deductions & child support allowances, which can reduce the amount of child support owed.