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How does Rhode Island calculate child support?


When it comes to calculating child support in Rhode Island, it is important that an appropriate result is reached. The state recognizes that this is for the benefit of the child. To that end, the state holds that a child deserves to enjoy a standard of living that relates back to the monthly incomes of each parent. Therefore, when calculating child support, Rhode Island uses what is known as the income shares model.


When calculating child support, the court will first consider the gross income per week, prior to taxes being taken out, of each of the child's parents. Gross income is calculated from all sources of a parent's income. Not only does this include wages earned, but it may include other types of benefits such as Social Security benefits, temporary disability benefits and workers' compensation benefits.

Then certain deductions will be made. In general, living expenses will not be deducted from the calculated amount of each parent's gross income. However, there are some mandatory deductions that will be taken out of the calculated amount of gross income. These include any child support payments being made for other children, any child support payments that are pre-existing and premiums for health insurance. Some deductions can also be made at the discretion of the court. For example, some types of extraordinary medical expenses, life insurance payments and retirement benefits may be deducted.

After that, using each parent's adjusted gross income, the court will examine a guideline chart to come to an appropriate calculation of how much child support should be paid each month per the number of children each parent has together. Then the court will calculate what percentage share of the entire calculated amount of child support should be applied to each parent. Child support will then be withheld from the noncustodial parent's wages each week.

This is only a brief overview of how child support is calculated in Rhode Island, and cannot guarantee any result, since each parent's situation is unique. Parents who need to learn more about how child support is calculated in Rhode Island and what their monthly payments may be should consult with a professional who is able to answer their questions.

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