Alaska bases shared custody timeshare percentages in its child support calculation on overnights, where the children sleep, and important day visits. After that, the totals are converted to a percentage.
Parenting time percentages and income are important factors of the State of Alaska child support system which is determined by the Alaska child support calculator. Whether you pay or receive child support after your divorce, your parenting time has a direct impact.
How To Calculate Child Support In Alaska
Regardless of whether they are wedded or not, both parents have a legal duty to support their children financially. In Alaska, courts must follow particular rules for determining how much child support one parent must pay the other which is calculated by the Alaska child support calculator. Rule 90.3 of the Alaska Court Rules lays forth these requirements. Form DR-305 (Child Support Guidelines Affidavit) or the child support sections of Form DR-105 can be used to determine the amount of child support in State of Alaska court may issue.
Income is the most crucial element. The first step is calculating each parent’s yearly or monthly gross income from all sources. Unemployment benefits and the value of some employer-provided benefits like housing and meals are included. It excludes incentives from the government. If your income varies significantly from year to year, you might want to take an average of your earnings over the last several years. After determining your gross income, the court will want to know your net income. Allowable deductions from gross income include:
- Income taxes.
- Legally required union dues.
- Compulsory retirement contributions.
- Some voluntary pension contributions.
- National insurance contributions.
- Presiding judge payments such as spousal maintenance or alimony.
- The cost of required work-related child-care.
A court will utilize either a parent’s actual yearly net income or $126,000, whichever is lower, for assessing child support. (Be careful to utilize the most recent version of Form 305 because the $126,000 number is subject to change.)
State of Alaska Child Support Guidelines
A court will want to know it all about your current custody agreement since the proportion of each parent’s net income that will be included in a support order is based on the amount of time each parent shares with the children.
The following guidelines apply
If a child spends more than 30% of the time with one parent (usually 110 overnight stays each year) and less than 30% of the time with the other parent, the court deems that parent to have primary custody. In the main custody agreement, multiply the non-custodial parent’s yearly net income by 20% for one kid, 27% for two children, and 33% for three children to computing child support. If there are more than three children, multiply by 3% for each additional child.
According to a visitation schedule outlined in the support order, the children spend at least 30 percent of the year with each parent in a shared custody agreement. In shared custody agreements, courts expect that each spouse pays a significant portion of the child-related expenditures when the children are with that parent.
For example, suppose one parent has custody of the children for a week. In that case, that parent is likely to spend money on kid-related food, clothes, and amusement, resulting in total support expenses that are much greater than the guidelines’ percentages.
A court sets a support payment for each parent based on their timeshare in a shared custody agreement. The lower support amount (we’ll call it Parent A’s amount) is then subtracted from the greater support amount (we’ll call it Parent B’s amount). After then, the court doubles the difference between the two sums by 1.5. The amount that Parent B will pay to Parent A is the outcome.
An adjustment may be necessary if the assumption that each parent pays for direct expenditures is incorrect or if one parent refuses to spend their assigned amount of time with the children as specified in the parenting plan. Form DR-306 can be used to compute the amount of support for joint custody.
Divided custody refers to each parent having primary physical custody of at least one child from the relationship, with no shared custody. The standards look at each parent who has primary physical custody of one or more children individually to assess support in these cases.
Parent A, for example, has main custody of two children, whereas Parent B has primary custody of only one. Because each parent has primary custody of a kid, the parents technically owe each other child support.
The formula determines how much child support each parent owes. It then subtracts one from the other, and if one parent owes more than the other, the difference is paid by that parent. Form DR-307 can be used to compute the amount of support for shared custody.
At least one parent has main physical custody of at least one kid from the relationship in a hybrid custody scenario, while the parents share custody of at least one other child. The procedure of determining hybrid custody support is multi-step. Form DR-308 can be used to compute the amount of support for this specific custody arrangement.
Regarding the above custody scenarios, note the following:
- Even if the guidelines computation yields a smaller amount, the least acceptable support amount in any of the custody circumstances is $50 per month. This $50 each month is for all of the children, not for each of them individually.
- If a parent has longer consultation time with a kid in the main custody scenario, the court may give that parent credit against child support, even if the extra visitation time does not meet the 30 percent required for shared custody. The amount of the credit, if any, will be determined by the court.
- Divided custody and hybrid custody are considered “exceptional situations” under the law. As a result, a court can adjust the support amounts in certain circumstances if it considers that not changing the support guidelines number would be “manifestly” unfair based on clear and persuasive evidence.
Deviating Guidelines Of Alaska
If a court believes that special circumstances exist that make the normal implementation of the rules unfair, it may vary from the child support guidelines. A particularly big family size, a very high or low family income, a kid with a considerable income, or health or other extraordinary costs are just a few examples.
If a court awards support in a different amount than the recommendations, the court must explain why in writing.
Imputed Income for Child Support
Parents cannot evade their child support responsibilities by quitting a job or failing to undertake a sufficient job search. If the court determines that a parent is voluntarily and unjustly jobless or underemployed, it may impute income to the parent based on variables such as work history, credentials, and available employment prospects in the region. Therefore, child support may be calculated based on the parent’s potential earnings rather than their actual earnings.
A parent who is physically or mentally disabled or who is caring for a child under the age of two will not have income imputed to them by the court (assuming both parents are legally responsible for the child).
If a parent decides to change careers, the court will assess whether the children would benefit from the move. The court may also impute potential income for non-income or low-revenue producing assets.
Modifying the Support Order
A parent seeking to alter or modify a child support order must show that their circumstances have fundamentally changed. The court would typically conclude that adjustment is appropriate if the difference between a current award and the amount determined by new development and assessment of the current child support guidelines vary by at least 15%.
Even if the 15 percent variance exists, the court has the jurisdiction to refuse a motion to alter child support if the adjustment would be unjust.
Also, read: Grandparent’s rights in Alaska.
Termination of Child Support
When a child reaches the age of majority, child support usually terminates. The legal age of liberation in State of Alaska is 18. If the kid is unmarried, actively seeking a high school diploma or an equal level of technical or vocational training, and living as a dependant with a parent or guardian, you can petition the court for an order extending child support after the child reaches the age of 18. This order may specify that child support be paid directly to the child, subject to the court’s approval of the terms and conditions.
Alaska Child Support Enforcement
Custodial parents may utilize legal means to implement a child support order against a parent who defaults or stops paying. The Child Support Services Division of the State Department of Revenue is in charge of aiding families in obtaining child support orders, identifying missing parents, verifying paternity if necessary, and guaranteeing that child support legal procedures are followed.
If health care coverage for the children is competitively priced and the children are not excluded from paying for health care from the Alaska Health Service (or any other entity) or other insurance benefits, a court will arrange at least one of the parents to purchase protection.
It’s worth noting that, unless the court rules otherwise for a good reason, the parents must pay appropriate healthcare costs that aren’t covered by insurance, and pay the determined cost according to the Alaska child support calculator.
The Alaska Child Support Services Division (CSSD) is responsible for finding non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, making child support orders, executing child support orders, revising child support orders, and administering direct deposit of child support in Alaska.
You have the right to a hearing as a parent in which you can contest the court’s judgment on child support.
When a parent’s financial condition changes or if the order has to be amended after a long period of time, child support payments might be adjusted. The Alaska Child Support Services Division can assist you with the process and provide a suggestion for a new support order if your child support was determined by the court, but they cannot amend the order; only the court can do so.