AlaskaChild Support Laws
Alaska Child Support Guide :: Table of Contents
Child support is an ongoing payment by a non-custodial parent to assist with the financial support of their children. Child support payments are often determined during the process of dissolution of a marriage through divorce, though the only requirements for requesting child support payments are establishment of paternity and maternity.
Child support is handled on a state level, and Alaska has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in Alaska, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.
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Alaska is one of the minority of states that uses the "percentage of income" method for calculating child support payments.
In the event of parents sharing custody of a child, the Alaska judge who sets child support may deviate from the basic child support formula to account for this. Other special situations accounted for under Alaska's child support law include childcare costs and extraordinary medical costs. These costs may be additions to the basic Alaska child support order.
If the obligor has the duty to make periodic payments for non-medical child support, the obligor's periodic payments shall be decreased by the amount of the other parent's portion of payments for health insurance ordered by the court or agency and actually paid by the obligor.
Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in Alaska family court through a child support order. In Alaska, a number of factors are taken into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid in court. Here is an explanation of the two most common methods used to calculate basic child support amounts.
Income Share Method
Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents' combined income.
Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month, and the custodial parent has an income of $1,000 per month. The court estimates that the cost of raising one child is $1,000 a month. The non-custodial parent's income is 66.6% of the parent's total combined income. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support, or 66.6% of the total child support obligation.
Percentage Of Income Method
This method of calculating child support is simple - a set percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may stay the same, or vary if the non-custodial parent's income changes.
Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month. The court orders a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $500 per month in child support. If the non-custodial parent's monthly income changes, the dollar amount they pay in child support will change as well.
Alaska Child Support FAQ
- How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Alaska?
- How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Alaska?
- How are child care costs treated by child support in Alaska?
- Does child support cover college education expenses in Alaska?
- How is child support enforced in Alaska?
- What are child support arrears?
- How are child support payments taxed in Alaska?
How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Alaska?
All states have a method of modifying the amount of child support owed in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.
Alaska law allows the judge overseeing the child support order to use a shared custody agreement as justification for a variation from the state's general child support calculations. This means that if the non-custodial parent shares parenting time with the custodial parent, the judge might reduce the amount of child support owed to account for the resources spent by the non-custodial parent during their time with the child.
How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Alaska?
Alaska has specialized guidelines for the sharing of a child's extraordinary medical care costs that are separate from, and in addition to, basic child support payments. Extraordinary medical costs are generally costs generated by things such as illness, hospital visits, or costly procedures such as getting braces.
How are child care costs treated by child support in Alaska?
Due to the high costs of child care for a single payment, Alaska has specialized guidelines that consider child care costs separately from the general costs of raising a child for the purposes of calculating child support payments.
Does child support cover college education expenses in Alaska?
While the state of Alaska has no explicit requirement for college expenses to be covered under child support, support for college expense by the non-custodial parent may be voluntarily agreed to by both parties, after which it is contractually enforceable.
How is child support enforced in Alaska?
In the state of Alaska, child support is enforced by the state child support agency. The state agency handles the location of non-custodial parents, enforcement of support orders, and the handling of unpaid child support arrears.
What are child support arrears?
Child support arrears are the amount of child support that is delinquent, or unpaid, by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state through wage garnishment, bank levy. withholding of Alaska welfare benefits, or other collection methods.
How are child support payments taxed in Alaska?
Under IRS guidelines, the recepient of child support does not need to pay federal tax on child support payments, and the payer of child support cannot deduct their child support payments. This differs from the federal taxation of alimony payments, which are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payor. Alaska tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.