North DakotaChild Support Laws
North Dakota 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 North Dakota has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in North Dakota, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.
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North Dakota is one of the minority of states that uses the "percentage of income" method for calculating child support payments.
North Dakota's child support formula directly accounts for parents who share custody of a child, and support payment amounts are connected to the custody split. Other special situations accounted for under North Dakota's child support law include extraordinary medical costs and college costs. These costs may be additions to the basic North Dakota child support order.
The department of human services will establish the child support guidelines to help the court decide the amount a parent will be expected to pay toward the support of the child.
It is rebuttable that the amount of child support resulting from the application of child support guidelines is the correct amount of child support.
The department will accept and compile important and reliable information from any source in order to establish the child support guidelines.
Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in North Dakota family court through a child support order. In North Dakota, 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.
North Dakota Child Support FAQ
- How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in North Dakota?
- How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in North Dakota?
- How are child care costs treated by child support in North Dakota?
- Does child support cover college education expenses in North Dakota?
- How is child support enforced in North Dakota?
- What are child support arrears?
- How are child support payments taxed in North Dakota?
How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in North Dakota?
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.
North Dakota law accounts for shared custody of a child directly in the child support formula used to calculate payment amounts. This means that, in cases where custody is shared, the amount of child support paid by the paying parent will be reduced according to the amount of time they have custody of the child.
How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in North Dakota?
North Dakota 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 North Dakota?
Unlike most states, North Dakota has no special provisions for child care costs in their child support guidelines. The costs of child care and lumped in to other costs of providing for the child when child support calculations are being made.
Does child support cover college education expenses in North Dakota?
North Dakota state law does allow courts to order the non-custodial parent to contribute to their child's college education upon graduating high school. Whether post-secondary education support is ordered, and the amount that may be ordered, varies depending on the situation.
How is child support enforced in North Dakota?
In the state of North Dakota, 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 North Dakota welfare benefits, or other collection methods.
How are child support payments taxed in North Dakota?
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. North Dakota tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.