Louisiana Child Support Calculator | Guidelines – 2023

In Louisiana, child support matters are divided into three categories: intake, collections, and parent location. Support Enforcement Services (SES), a division of the Office of Family Support, may assist you in locating a non-custodial parent, obtaining a paternity test, establishing an average child support order, and enforcing child support orders using the Louisiana child support calculator.

How To Calculate Louisiana Child Support Calculator

Even if the marriage separates or divorces, both parents must support their child’s financial, emotional, and medical needs in Louisiana. This indicates that both parents are financially accountable for their child’s upbringing. In most cases, however, a child support award is influenced by the parents’ custody arrangement.

Child support is usually paid to the other parent by the “non-custodial parent” (the parent who occupies less than 50% of the time with the child). The parent who has primary custody of the kid is referred to as the “custodial parent.” Despite the fact that the custodial parent is also financially liable for the kid, the law believes that this parent invests an adequate number on the child immediately.

The number of children engaged, the parents’ earnings, and the parents’ custody agreement will all influence the child support payment awarded. A child support estimator is available in Louisiana to assist parents in calculating their average child support obligations.

In shared or partitioned agreements, or where the contributing parent has a handicap that affects earning capability, payments may be less than the guideline amount. Similarly, if it is in the best interests of the child, a court may enhance child support in certain circumstances. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example, several judges reduced assistance levels for families that had been disproportionately affected by the storm.

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

The child support schedule on the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services website will help you anticipate your portion of the support. Based on the parents’ income levels and the number of children, the rules calculate a suggested assistance amount.

In addition to child support, one or both parents are responsible for the child’s medical attention, and the ultimate child support sum may include unusual daycare or cost of education, generally determined by using the Louisiana child support calculator.

Louisiana Child Support Calculations Based on Custody

It impacts how child support payments charts are calculated whether both parents spend equal time with a kid (or children), or if you have shared custodial responsibility for numerous children, physical custody of a child, or the length of time a child spends with each parent.

There are many other possibilities to distribute parental care, but whether you have “sole custody” (the child lives with only one caregiver for the majority of the time), “shared custody” (the child must spend equal, or nearly equal, time with each parent), or “split custody” (the child must spend equal, or nearly equal, time with each parent) will affect your child support award (parents divide the children between them).

The Department of Children and Family Services in Louisiana provides a worksheet to assist in calculating child support based on these numerous custody agreements. Once you’ve completed these worksheets, you’ll have a fair idea of how much child support you’ll have to pay, but a judge should still accept the ending balance and make sure it’s to the kid’s greatest advantage.

Determining Income Under the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines

All earnings, excluding pre-existing spousal maintenance and child support orders for children from a previous relationship, are considered a parent’s “adjusted gross income.” A parent’s “gross income” is defined as all available capital, including salary, earnings, bonuses, commissions, regular pensions, military pensions, or severance pay, for child support reasons.

Cash received as gifts, or workplace allowances may be included in gross income. Even if you are unemployed, you are likely to have some source of income, such as Social Security, workers’ compensation, or unemployment benefits. Your spousal support is also considered income. Remarriage of one parent, for example, might have an influence on earlier alimony or child support orders.

A court has the jurisdiction to impute income in circumstances when a parent is voluntarily jobless or underemployed and to allocate a larger income based on what that parent should be earning.

To avoid income apportionment and a rise in average child support obligations, the jobless or underemployed parent must provide a compelling cause for not working or for working for less. Physical impairment, mental incapacity, or caregiving obligations for a kid under the age of five are all viable causes for underemployment. Remember that a court cannot impute income to a parent who has been temporarily jobless or compelled to take a lower-paying job due to a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina.

Factor Affecting The Amount Of Support

Before a court makes a child support order, any parent might seek the court to increase or decrease the amount of support due to the following factors:

  • The tremendous measure of gross revenue does not match the figures on the schedule.
  • Legal responsibility to support other domestic obligations.
  • Whether there are numerous families with children to support.
  • Extraordinary medical expenses.
  • Extraordinary community debt.
  • When a complete hearing on the question of maintenance is pending but cannot be held in a timely manner, the necessity for urgent and temporary assistance for a child,
  • A parent’s entire impairment, whether permanent or temporary.
  • Any other consideration involving the best interests of the client or unfairness.

Collecting Child Support

It’s just half the fight to establish a child support award; you’ll also need to collect it. Payments can be made in a variety of methods by the obligor parent (a parent who has been ordered by the court to pay average child support), including cash, cheque, direct deposit, bank transfer, or through payment apps like Venmo or Zelle.

Sadly, some parents will go to great measures to avoid paying child support.

Modifying the Amount

You can still seek the court to alter (update) a child support order once it is in place. When a major change in circumstances occurs that results in a 25% increase or decrease in the amount of average child support you now pay or receive, a modification is warranted.

You can still seek the court to alter (update) a child support order once it is in place. When a major change in circumstances occurs that results in a 25% increase or decrease in the amount of average child support you now pay or receive, a modification is warranted.

Establishing a support order

Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. The rules for deciding how much money the non-custodial parent is needed to maintain his or her kid are determined by the courts. These criteria are based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The number of children in the family.
  • The combined earnings of both parents.
  • The expense of child care.
  • The price of health insurance.
  • A reserve for unanticipated costs.

Worried about what rights you hold as grandparent’s? Read this guide to know more.

Enforcing a child support order

If the non-custodial parent fails to pay his or her financial commitments, SES can assist with enforcing support orders. The SES can penalize—and seek to collect money from—delinquent non-custodial parents by assigning income, intercepting state and federal tax returns and lottery wins, suspending licenses and registration, refusing passports, and pursuing a contempt of court charge.

Why are accurate parenting time percentages important in Louisiana?

 Because Louisiana law provides for exemptions in the child support amount if you can establish that you qualify for special consideration, accurate parenting time percentages are critical.

The legislation allows the court to diverge from the usual child support recommendations for a variety of reasons, but it does not include parenting time as one of them.

If the court decides that the noncustodial parent has received unusual visiting time, it may consider reducing support. While this is a rare occurrence, you may at least present the court with correct figures.

How to calculate parenting time instead of relying on estimates?

Using software to determine parenting time is the simplest and most accurate method. You’re obliged to tally up hours for a complete year without software, which is error-prone when you factor in alternate holidays, summer vacations, and other scheduling adjustments during the year.

You may also use software to alter your schedule to see how even little changes affect your total parenting time, as well as to examine how your parenting time varies over time as a result of holidays and other events.

You may also keep track of what happens in real-time and see how much parenting time you’ve had over time. When requesting a child support adjustment or extra parenting time, historical information is a valuable tool.

Bottom Line

The Louisiana child support calculator determines the payments using the “income share” system, which ensures that both custodial and non-custodial parents participate in their child’s upkeep.

If a child’s parents share custody, the Louisiana court that determines average child support may depart from the standard formula to account for this. Childcare fees and unusual medical expenditures are two more specific conditions covered by Louisiana’s child support legislation. These charges may be in addition to the regular child support order in Louisiana.

Official Website


Louisiana child support can be affected by parenting time totals?

In Louisiana, child support is calculated solely on the basis of income. Parenting time is not factored into the equation. When the non – residential parent’s visiting time substantially surpasses what is deemed typical, the court may break from its tight child support standards on a case-by-case basis. Whether you pay or receive child support, having accurate parenting time data may have a big impact.

How Does Louisiana Tax Child Support Payments?

The parent who gets child support in Louisiana does not have to pay any federal taxes on the payments. Child support payers are also unable to subtract their payments from their taxes. It should be noted that the tax status of child support payments varies depending on Louisiana tax legislation.

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