Does the child support payment formula vary by state?

| Oct 28, 2020 | Child Support

When most reports provide examples of child support payments, they use a similar formula. However, each state regulates child support payments, so do they all use a federal formula or do they create their own to determine your payments?

CBS News explains that each state has its own calculations and it all varies widely. In fact, some states have vastly higher payments than others and some states do not factor in some figures at all.

Payment ranges

When it comes to normal child support payments, variations may surprise you. Typical child support payments in Massachusetts can reach $1,187 but may amount to only $402 in Virginia. Minnesota is one of several states with much lower typical child support payments. You can expect an estimate of around $400 to $528.

Formula factors

At first glance, it may appear that your child support payments vary based on the cost of living in each state. After all, child support payments are highest in the Northeast, which corresponds with higher-than-average living costs. Yet, California has a high cost of living and payments generally range from $530 to $730, which is in the second-lowest payment tier. How much the mother makes may also influence numbers, but not in Texas, North Dakota and Mississippi.

Researchers believe that states with higher payments and no considerations of the mother’s income may not yet make changes to account for women working outside of the home. Women do tend to make less than men in the workplace, so some people argue that, perhaps, that is a good thing.