What Factors Determine Iowa Child Support?

There are various factors that are considered when making a child support determination from parents’ incomes to the number of children being supported and who has primary custody of the kids. A child support calculation will also take into account the costs for healthcare, child care or other necessary expenses that serve the child’s best interests.


Both parents’ incomes are included in the Iowa child support calculation. That said, income can fluctuate depending on various factors so the court often derives an average income based on tax returns or pay stubs. For those who are unemployed, the court can impute income in much the same way – estimating what a parent has the ability to earn – to determine the amount of child support he or she will be ordered to pay.

Number of Children

The number of children the couple shares as well as support paid to children from a previous marriage will affect the child support determination. Many families are blended these days, and a parent may have a child support obligation to children from a previous relationship, which will factor into the child support determination so that he or she may continue to meet that obligation.

The Impact of Child Custody on Support

The custody arrangement will impact who will pay more in child support. If one parent has primary responsibility and the lion’s share of parenting time with the children, the other parent may pay more in child support. Providing shelter, transportation, food, and other basic needs adds up – if one parent is providing the bulk of these necessities for the larger part of every week, month or year, they will receive more in child support. In situations where a non custodial parent incurs extraordinary costs to exercise visitation rights, there may be a credit to the non-custodial parent when calculating child support.

Offsets for Health Insurance and Childcare

If one parent pays for a child’s health insurance through their employer or otherwise, the premium paid may be figure into the calculation resulting in a lower child support obligation. Child care costs (daycare) may be shared or factored into the child support determination, where someone footing the childcare bill will see a reduction in child support owed while the other parent pays more.

The Expense of Two Households

What is not factored into the child support equation are the expenses that each parent may have such as rent, car payments, or credit card payments, which may be more difficult to afford under two roofs instead of one.

Contact an Experienced Child Support Lawyer for Help

We have a combined four decades of experience with family law matters, including divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, and property and debt division. When you have questions regarding Iowa child support, get the information you need by calling the Des Moines family law attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for help at515.989.8529.