The State of Vermont uses a mathematical calculation to determine how much child support a child should get. The calculation is often called the “child support guideline.”
The calculation takes into account what parents in Vermont ordinarily spend to raise a child. It takes into account many factors, including the income of both parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. If you have other children with a different mother or father, that will also be considered.
The Office of Child Support has an online child support calculator on the Vermont Department for Children and Families website. Use it to figure out what your child support payments are likely to be. If you have problems with the calculator, contact the Office of Child Support at 1-800-786-3214.
For most families, the court will order the amount calculated based on the child support guideline. Some parents earn much more or much less than the calculator expects. If that is true for your family, you can ask the court to consider the following factors to set a different amount of child support:
- the financial resources of the child
- the financial resources of the parent who has custody
- the financial resources and needs of the parent who does not have custody
- the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents had continued to live together
- the physical and emotional condition of the child
- the educational needs of the child
- the educational needs of either parent, if the education will increase the earning capacity of the parent
- extraordinary travel expenses needed for visitation (“parent-child contact”)
- any other reason the judge or magistrate finds important
Sometimes, as part of child support, a court will order money for the “custodial parent” – that is, the parent who has custody. This is called a child support maintenance supplement. This is different from Spousal Maintenance (Alimony).