Factor "Extras" into Your Child Support Payments

Mandatory and Discretionary Additions to Regular Child Support Payments

Mother and son (3-5) embracing in park, smiling
Camille Tokerud/Stone/Getty Images

In addition to a standard child support calculation, many states will either require a non-custodial parent to pay a share of additional expenses, associated with child rearing (mandatory) or order additional expenses at his or her discretion (discretionary).

Mandatory Additions to the Child Support Formula

Mandatory additions may include:

  • Healthcare expenses that are not covered by health insurance
  • Child care expenses incurred while the custodial parent is working or attending school or job training, which are often pro-rated to the same extent as determined by the child support formula

Discretionary Additions to the Child Support Formula

Discretionary additions may include:

  • Educational expenses such as post-secondary, private school, special education, or college tuition
  • Child care expenses while the custodial parent is at work or seeking employment

Often courts will not order any additions to the basic child support formula if a non-custodial parent's income is too low to warrant any additions. In that case, a court will only order a non-custodial parent to pay their share of the basic child support formula.

Each state has their own laws governing child support, so be sure to learn more about your state's regulations on their websites or from a lawyer local to the case.