How to Calculate Child Support

Child support calculations may vary by state, but you can estimate what you'll likely pay based on income and lifestyle variables.

You will need

  • A calculator
  • Income information
  • Household expense records
  • A computer with internet access

Step 1 Add income Calculate your net annual income – what you take home after taxes.

Step 2 Add alimony Add any annual alimony payments. If alimony is received, courts may add it to your income. If alimony is paid, courts may deduct it.

Step 3 Calculate other child support Calculate any child support payments from previous children to develop an annual total. This may reduce the amount of child support you’ll pay.

Step 4 Calculate additional child care needs Calculate any additional annual child care needs. What these needs are and how much they cost may increase the amount of child support you pay.

Step 5 Look up your state’s child support guidelines Go online and research your state’s guidelines for calculating child support. This will help you determine more exactly what you’ll pay.