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Calculating Child Support - Frequently Asked Questions

What is child support?

- Child support is not optional
- Child support cannot be waived
- Children are entitled to support

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When do I owe child support?

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How is child support calculated?

According to Civil Rule 90.3 PDF

Where you can find Civil Rule 90.3 PDF:

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What does Civil Rule 90.3 say?

Civil Rule 90.3 PDF discusses the different calculations to figure out the child support amount.  The specific calculation depends on your parenting plan.  Civil Rule 90.3 discusses how to calculate for primary custody, shared custody, divided custody, and hybrid custody.

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How do I fill out the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit, DR-305 form?

Parents in cases involving child custody (divorce and custody cases) must fill out the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit DR-305 [Fill-In PDF] form. Fill out the column for yourself if you are the Father or the Mother. You may also fill out the column for the other parent if you know the information.

Please view How to Fill out the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit PDF 627 KB.

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How do I calculate child support for a primary custody arrangement?

To figure out the child support for a primary custody arrangement, do the following calculation:

If the calculation results in a support amount below $50.00, the support amount will be $50.00 a month.  The minimum calculation for a primary custody arrangement is $50.00.

If your AI is over $126,000, you may be eligible to use the high income cap. Rule 90.3 says that the portion of an adjusted annual income over $126,000 will not be used in calculating the child support amount, unless the other parent presents evidence showing the higher income should be used in the calculation.  If the cap is used, the AI will be $126,000 for the calculation.

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How do I calculate child support for a shared custody arrangement?

To figure out the child support for a shared custody arrangement, use the Shared Custody Child Support Calculation worksheet, DR-306 [Fill-In PDF]

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How do I calculate child support for a divided custody arrangement?

To figure out the child support for a divided custody arrangement, use the Divided Custody Child Support Calculation worksheet, DR-307 [Fill-In PDF]

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How do I calculate child support for a hybrid custody arrangement?

To figure out the child support for a hybrid custody arrangement, use the Hybrid Custody Child Support Calculation worksheet, DR-308 [Fill-In PDF]

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So what's the hard part?

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What counts as income?

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What can I subtract for deductions?

Rule 90.3 and the commentary PDF lists other allowable deductions. Deductions allowed by Civil Rule 90.3 are not the same as those allowed for federal taxes.

The CSSD Child Support Calculator may be able to help you calculate deductions if you know your gross wages.

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How do I figure out the deduction for retirement contributions?

When figuring out your annual adjusted income (gross income – deductions), you may deduct for:

For example:

You earn $40,000 gross wages/year.
6% of your wages goes into a mandatory retirement account ($40,000 x .06 = $2,400).
3% of your wages goes into a voluntary retirement account (deferred compensation, 401(k), TSP). ($40,000 x. .03 = $1,200).

Your total retirement contributions are 9% of gross wages. However, the total allowed deduction for both mandatory and voluntary retirement contributions is 7.5 % of gross wages. Because you have a mandatory 6% contribution, you can only deduct 1.5% of the voluntary contribution ($40,000 x .015 = $600). Both the mandatory contribution of $2,400 + the voluntary contribution of $600 = $3000.

So for this example when filling out the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit DR-305 [Fill-In PDF] Deductions in section B, next to:

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How do I figure out the deduction for older children who live with me all or part of the time?

First, figure out how much time the older child(ren) live with you.  Is it a primary custody arrangement or a shared custody arrangement?  Once you figure out the custody arrangement, review the Prior Child Deduction chart PDF to figure out how much to deduct. 

If primary custody, figure out how much child support you would pay for this child(ren) if you were paying support.  You can use the CSSD calculator by inputting your annual gross income.  It will provide a child support amount.  Take that amount and write it into the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit, DR-305 [Fill-In PDF] as a deduction in the appropriate spot "In-kind support for prior children of a different relationship calculated under 90.3(a)(1)(D)."

If shared custody, figure out the deduction by reviewing the Prior Child Deduction chart PDF which provides the calculation.  Take that amount and write it into the Child Support Guidelines Affidavit form, DR-305 [Fill-In PDF] as a deduction in the appropriate spot "In-kind support for prior children of a different relationship calculated under 90.3(a)(1)(D)."

Be aware that the total amount allowed as a deduction is capped by the higher amount of either:

For example of a capped deduction,

Mother has 40% shared custody of 2 prior children. Mother’s child support order for these 2 prior children is $6,000 per year. Mother’s current adjusted annual income is $20,000 per year. Based on her current adjusted annual income, Mother’s primary support amount for the 2 prior children if they were her only children would be $5,400 per year ($20,000 x 27% = $5,400) (under Civil Rule 90.3(a)(2) calculation).

Math:

  90.3(a)(2) primary    $5,400

x 90.3(b) custody percent 40%   

= 90.3(a)(1)(D) in-kind  $2,160

+ 90.3(a)(1)(C) actual   $6,000

= total allowed deduction $8,160 $6,000

$8,160 is more than what Mother is allowed to deduct because $8,160 is more than the (a)(2) primary amount of $5,400 and more than the (a)(1)(C) ordered amount of $6,000. Mother is limited to the higher of the (a)(2) amount or (a)(1)(C) amount. In this example, the higher amount is $6,000, so $6,000 is Mother’s total allowed deduction. Mother can deduct $6,000 for prior child support and $0 for in-kind prior child support.

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How do I figure out the deduction for the cost of my health insurance?

Parents can deduct their out-of-pocket cost of their own health insurance premiums, including medical, dental and vision coverage, with the following limits:

For example, for a parent with health insurance that they pay the premiums for their own insurance, the deduction is calculated as:

Parent with Individual Health Insurance Dollars ($)
Gross monthly income
4,000
Health insurance premium
(500)

Health insurance deduction
(10% of gross income)

(400)
Income for 90.3 child support calculation
3,600

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If I quit or take a lower paid job will I pay less child support?

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What if I am self-employed?

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What if my income varies a lot from year-to-year?

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How do I figure out how much the child(ren)’s health insurance costs?

The child support order will include information about the child(ren)’s health insurance coverage and the cost to cover just the child(ren). If the children are able to receive free medical services through the Indian Health Service or the military, the order will note it. If health insurance is available to one or both parents for free or at a reasonable cost, the child support order will state which parent must get health insurance. In general, the court considers the cost of health insurance to be reasonable if it is 5% or less than the adjusted annual income of the parent who may be required to purchase the insurance. Usually the order will split the cost of health insurance between the parents, although the court may order unequal payments if there is a good reason.

An obligor's child support obligation will be decreased by the amount of the obligee's portion of health insurance payments ordered by the court and actually paid by the obligor. A child support award will be increased by the obligor's portion of health insurance if the obligee is ordered to, and actually does obtain and pay for insurance. So you need to figure out how much it costs to insure just the child(ren) included in the child support order.

If the cost of covering the parent alone is the same as the cost of covering the parent and child(ren), then there is no additional cost to the parent for adding the child(ren); no portion of the cost of coverage may be allocated to the children. If dependent coverage can be added for a single cost, rather than per child, and the child(ren)’s coverage covers other child(ren) in addition to the child(ren) subject to the order, the cost to cover the child(ren) will be divided equally among all of the children covered by the insurance.

See the child health insurance diagram PDF to figure out the cost to insure just the child(ren).

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What paperwork do I need to file?

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How do I file papers in court?

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What happens after the information is filed?

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What happens if one side doesn't give the court the information?

It depends.

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Can the court ask CSSD to do the calculations?

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So what about CSSD?

CSSD is not automatically involved in your case unless the parent who receives child support is getting a public benefit. Usually, one party must apply for services.

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What is the difference between child support orders issued by the court and child support orders issued by CSSD?

Both the court and the Child Support Service Division (CSSD) have the authority to issue child support orders.  However, the child support orders come about in different ways.  The court must issue a child support order when it decides the custody and visitation arrangement for a child in a case involving divorce, dissolution, or custody between unmarried parents.  The CSSD issues an order when one parent requests child support because the parents have split up and the parent taking care of the child(ren) wants the other parent to pay support for the child.  Sometimes a parent will have a CSSD support order and then file a custody case in court later.  If the court issues a child support order that is different from the CSSD order, the court’s child support order takes priority and replaces the CSSD order.

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What about modifying?

There must be a change in circumstance:

Where you file depends on who issued the child support order you want to modify.

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How do I find out how much money the other parent makes?

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How can I find out if the opposing party applied for their PFD?

The court often orders the person who owes child support to apply for their own PFD. You can ask the PFD Office if someone has applied by calling:

Anchorage: (907) 269-0370

Fairbanks: (907) 451-2821

Juneau: (907) 465-2326

Toll-free: (800) 733-8813

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What do I file to modify?

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Do I have to send copies of modification papers filed in court to CSSD?

No, the Attorney General’s office who represents CSSD does not want you to send it copies of modification papers.

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What if both parents agree to reduce the amount of back owed child support?

If both parents agree to reduce the amount of back owed child support (called arrears) and neither was receiving public assistance from the State of Alaska, they can file a written agreement.

If either parent was receiving public assistance and the obligor parent was supposed to be paying child support to the state of Alaska, then CSSD must agree to reduce any back owed child support to the State before the parents can agree to a reduction between them. Contact CSSD to request a reduction in the amount of arrears owed to the State.

Anchorage Child Support Services Division
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 310 (mailing)
655 F Street (physical location)
Anchorage, AK 99501-6699
(907) 269-6900 or 1 (800) 478-3300
TDD (Hearing/Speech Impaired) line: (907) 269-6894
FAX: (907) 269-6650
Hours: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Fairbanks Child Support Services Division
675 Seventh Ave., Station J2
Fairbanks, AK 99701
(907) 451-2830
Hours: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

You can also visit CSSD's forms page for more information. The website includes forms about foregiveness of arrears.

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What can I do if the obligor lives in a foreign country?

The U.S. Department of State's Office of Children's Issues has a web page addressing international child support enforcement.

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Other resources

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Where do I find out more information about different stages of a case or specific topics?

This website has forms and information for all of the stages of the case. You can also find information about specific topics such as divorce, parenting and custody, paternity, property and debt division and dividing retirement benefits.

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Rev. 8 May 2018
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