Entering Child Support Adjustments

U[p Down Right LeftA customer recently asked “What’s the correct way to enter a Section E adjustment so it is reflected in the child support amount?”  The answer, of course, depends!!

Remember, Section E adjustments are 1) discretionary with the Court and 2) NOT automatically allocated between the parents in proportion to incomes (the basic child support obligation plus Section D medical insurance and child care cost ARE allocated proportionately, up on line D.7, but not the Section E amounts come later).

Moreover, the way you enter the amounts depends on what you are trying to achieve – proportional division of an expense OR shifting an expense from one parent to the other.

If you want to divide an expense proportionately so the child support includes a portion of the expense for each parent, you have to enter the amounts proportionately. It’s not hard, and you don’t need a calculator. Just type in the amount for Mom in her blank using her percentage of the total income – each parent’s income percentage is shown at the top of the Sec. E window.

Example: to split a special needs of $200 where Mom has 28% of the total income, just type 200*.28 {enter} in her special needs blank. Her share, $56 will be entered. For Dad’s share, just type 200-56 {enter} in his special needs blank to calculate and enter his $144 share of the $200.

If, however, you want to shift an expense from one parent to the other, you’ll want to take a different approach.

For example, to shift long distance parenting time costs of $300 (paid by Mom for a child’s airline ticket to go see Dad) to Dad’s child support (perhaps because Dad moved away necessitating the expense), enter -300 in Mom’s blank, and 300 in Dad’s blank.

That will leave the child support amount unaffected, but shift $300 from Mom’s obligations to Dad (since she’s paying the entire $300)

Because the Parenting Time adjustment and the Income Tax Considerations adjustment are always shifted (they don’t add or subtract from the total child support obligation of the parents), you only need to make an entry in Dad’s blank and the program will enter the opposite amount in Mom’s blank.

About Brad Short

CEO : Bradley Software; Of Counsel at Short, Borth & Thilges, Attorneys at Law, LLC, Overland Park, Kansas. Born Birmingham, Alabama, December 27, 1941; admitted to bar,1966, Kansas and U.S. District Court, District of Kansas; 1975, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; 1976, U.S. Supreme Court. Education: University of Colorado (B.A., 1963; J.D., 1966). Contributing Author, Practitioner's Guide to Kansas Family Law, Kansas Bar Association, 1997. Listed in: The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, every year from 1987 through 2013. Member, Technology Advisory Committee, Kansas Judicial Council, 1991-1998. Member: Bourbon County, 1966-1977 (President, 1970-1971), Johnson County (Member: Ethics and Grievance Committee, 1984-1998; Family Law Bench/Bar Committee, 1984-), Kansas and American (Vice-Chair, Solo Practitioners and Small Firms Committee, Economics of Law Practice Section, 1984-1985) Bar Associations; Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, 1974-1984 (State Treasurer, 1975-76; Member, Board of Governors, 1974-1984). Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1994-2013 . Practice areas: Family Law.
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