The EPT replaces the former 20% mandatory parenting time adjustment which was created in the 2008 Guidelines for parents who:
>Share a child’s time equally (or nearly so)
>Can’t agree to divide the child’s direct expenses equally in some fashion
>Don’t have a court-approved agreement for expense and time sharing.
The EPT creates an additional child support amount, payable by the parent with the higher support obligation on Line F.3 of the Child Support Worksheet. The amount of the additional child support amount is calculated by applying a percentage (13%, 15% or 18%) to the total parental child support obligation on Line D.3 of the Child Support Worksheet. Which percentage to apply is determined by looking at the amount of the total parental child support income on Line D.1 of the Child Support Worksheet. If the Line D.1 income is less than $4,690, use the lowest percentage; if greater than $8,125, use the highest percentage; otherwise use the middle percentage.
However, if the parents have a written agreement (not necessarily court-approved) which requires each parent to maintain clothing for the child(ren) at their respective households, then the percentages (though not the income brackets) drop to 11%, 13%, and 16% (2% lower in each range than the non-equal clothing percentages).
The amount of the additional support is added to the child support otherwise payable in an equal time custodial arrangement (the difference in the Line F.3 obligations of the parents, divided by 2). The child support difference divided by 2 is always payable by the higher obligation parent to the lower obligation parent. However, if the higher obligation parent is court-designated to pay the child’s direct expenses (which would ordinarily be paid by the lower obligated parent who is receiving the child support payment), then the additional support amount (Line D.1 income-related percentage multiplied by Line. D.3) is subtracted from the “difference divided by 2” payment of the higher obligated parent. If the amount of the additional support credit is larger than the amount of the difference divided by 2 payment, the Guideline calls for a “not less than zero” floor to make the payment of child support from the higher obligation parent to the lower obligation parent equal to zero, rather than a negative number (which would, in effect, reverse the flow of support monies and have the lower obligated parent paying support to the higher obligated parent.)
The foregoing demonstrates how complicated the Guidelines have become. Whew!!
The Good News:
The Bradley Child Support Calculator will simplify your life. Rather than having to fill out the Equal Parenting Time Worksheet (also added to the Guidelines by AO 261), you only need to answer one to four new questions:
Parenting Time Shared Equally? Yes or No
If the parenting time is not shared equally (or nearly so), then the EPT formula is not available and no further EPT related questions will be asked.
However, if you answer “Yes” to the first question, then the program will ask if expenses are also shared equally under a court-approved detailed agreement (which will trigger the “Shared Expense Formula”):
Expenses Shared Equally? Yes or No
If the expenses are not shared equally (or nearly so) under a court-approved agreement , then the “Shared Expense Formula” is not available, but the EPT may be, so further questions will be asked:
Parents Each Maintain Clothing? Yes or No
If you answer “Yes” to “Equal Clothing” the reduced percentages (11%, 13%, and 16%) will be used to calculate the additional support surcharge; if you answer “No” the higher percentages will be used (13%, 15%, and 18%).
Parent Designated by Court to pay Direct Expenses. Mother or Father
You must also answer regarding which parent has been designated by the Court to pay the direct expenses for the child(ren), and your response will determine whether the additional support surcharge is added to the higher obligated parent’s child support payment, or subtracted from it as a credit.
Well, that’s it — so much simpler than dealing with a 95 page set of instructions and rules!!