Idaho Child Support Laws and Guidelines

The laws governing child support in Idaho are different from that of other states. ID child support law sets how much the child maintenance should be, and the duration of such payments, plus it seeks to guide parents in exceptional cases such as deviation, support for disabled children, and retroactive support.

As you may already know, child support (or child maintenance) is a continuous monetary payment made by a spouse to another spouse, guardian, caregiver,  or the state for the upkeep of children after a divorce or separation.

The person who is required to pay child support is referred to as the “obligor,” whereas the person who is eligible to receive child maintenance is referred to as the “obligee.”

What are ID Child Support Laws?

The fundamental tenets on which Idaho’s child support regulations are built upon these four principles:

  • Legally, both parents are obligated to provide for their children, and that obligation should be distributed in accordance with each parent’s income.
  • When allocating wealth, the demands of the children come before those of the parents or creditors.
  • The custodial parent’s gender should not be taken into account for determining support obligations.
  • There is a general assumption that each parent should contribute at a minimum $50 per month per child because it is uncommon for a parent’s child support obligation to be set at $0.

The “Income Shares Model” is used in Idaho to determine the amount of child support due. The goal is to calculate how much assistance the kids would have gotten if the marriage hadn’t ended in divorce. The parents then split this support payment according to their individual wages. The following forms can be used to perform these calculations:

  • Affidavit Verifying Income
  • Shared or Split Custody Child Support Worksheet
  • Standard Custody Child Support Worksheet

What does Child Support Cover in Idaho?

The goal of the child support system is to make sure that the child maintains an adequate living standard. All child support payments are made with the child’s best interests in mind. Sometimes, the non-paying parent may not be certain what the payment should cover. Child support payments in ID are meant to cover the following:

Basic costs may include, but are not required to be limited to:
  • housing, including the payment of rent.
  • Simple cuisine that could pay for groceries.
  • For everyday use, basic apparel and non-luxury clothing goods.
  • regular transportation, in certain cases even gas costs.
  • School meals, either the cost of cooked lunch or sum added to the cost of groceries.
  • regular dental and medical costs. 
  • Co-payments and deductibles that total more than $250 per child per year are also possible.
  • Allowances: if the parents agree to offer their children income to spend
  • Other normal costs that the parents specifically mention. This amount is established by Idaho’s “Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations,” and it is up to the parents to decide how much of their child’s costs should fall under this heading. This needs to be specified in the “Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan” in advance.

Extraordinary expenses: Some examples

  • supplies for education, such as books.
  • School outings and activities are typically restricted to necessary outings, such as short-distance museum visits, and may not always include international travel for holidays like Spring Break.
  • Additional academic clothing
  • Activities, such as individual music lessons or tuition for specific subjects.
  • Special clothing for and equipment for sports and club
  • Membership dues and other organization expenses.

Child Support When One Parent Lives Outside Idaho

To enforce child support orders beyond state boundaries, each state has to have the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) in place. Idaho is no exception.

The UIFSA ensures that child support processes and procedures are consistent across states. When one spouse lives in another state where the Idaho courts do not have the authority to adjudicate or enforce orders, UIFSA reduces these bottlenecks.

However, if the support payment needs to be enforced, the Office of Child Support Enforcement or the Department of Revenue might seek to have the parent’s child support obligation deducted from his or her normal wage or may attempt to put a lien on a parent’s property located in the state where the child support order is governed.

How is Child Maintenance Calculated In Idaho?

How Child Maintenance Calculated In Idaho

Learn How Child Maintenance Calculated In Idaho

The “income sharing model” is used in Idaho to determine how much child support should be paid. Payments are based on both the number of children and the parents’ joint incomes. Payments are typically higher when there are more children or a higher combined income.

A parent’s income percentage affects how much they pay or receive. Your share of the combined parental income affects how much you pay or receive.

Which amount of parenting time is applicable also has an impact on payments. Due to a “shared” (roughly equal) care arrangement, payments might be lower.

A parent who is paying child support could find the Idaho child support calculator to be accurate. To ascertain how much child support you can afford, however, you must provide financial information. How much you must pay depends on your gross income and the number of children who are in need of support.

Idaho Child Support Calculator or Worksheet

While a child support calculator can be used to estimate child support, it is not a guarantee of the final amount of child maintenance that the judge will order. A child support worksheet is a form used by the ID courts (or negotiating spouses) to approximate the basic child support obligation of the parents.

Regardless of which approach you use, spouses can decide on a child support sum and amend the worksheet accordingly to ensure it accurately reflects their agreement. Both establish a presumption duty to pay child support.

The final decision on the amount of child support is made by the administrative law judge, administrator, or court.

Gross Income Included in Calculating Child Maintenance

How to determine Net Income for ID child support

How to determine Net Income for ID child support

For child support calculation purposes, gross income includes:

  • all wages and salary, including commissions, military pay, tips, overtime, and bonuses
  • self-employment income
  • interest and dividends
  • net rental income from property the parent owns

Even jobless parents are likely to have some sources of income, like:

  • severance pay
  • unemployment benefits
  • retirement benefits
  • veterans’ benefits
  • disability benefits, or
  • workers’ compensation awards.

An ID family court judge may also allocate an income value to parents who do not currently have income-earning employment (like a second house). If a jobless parent inherits assets that can be sold, for instance, the judge may include the property’s market value as a part of such parent’s income.

Where parents willfully go unemployed or underemployed in order to avoid paying child support, judges may infer (assign) income based on what they are supposed to be earning.

Net Income for ID Guidelines

Remove the following costs from the total gross income to get the parent’s net income for paying child support in Idaho:

  • Social Security taxes, or any mandated retirement plan contributions if the parent does not pay those taxes.
  • Income taxes, both federal and state (based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one exemption)
  • union dues
  • The ID court has ruled the parent to pay the child’s health and dental insurance premiums, as well as additional medical bills.

Parents who have already paid child support for another kid or children (from a previous relationship) may be eligible for a refund.

Is Medical Health Insurance Part of Child Support in Idaho?

Medical Health Insurance and Child Support in Idaho

Medical Health Insurance and Child Support in Idaho

Yes, in addition to the amount of support determined by the guidelines in Idaho, the parents will be responsible for the child’s health and dental insurance.

Whereas the noncustodial parent is presumed to provide coverage, this can readily be transferred to the other parent if it makes good sense.

For instance, suppose the custodial parent’s employer offers healthcare insurance for the dependent but the noncustodial parent does not.

Factors Idaho Courts Consider Before Ordering Maintenance

The following factors must be considered by the court when determining whether Idaho Family Code applies:

  • The age of the child and needs; the parents’ ability to assist
  • Financial resources available to the child
  • For a set period of time, you have custody and access to a child.
  • An increase or decrease in the obligee’s earnings or income due to the obligee’s property and assets
  • Child care expenses incurred by either parent in order to keep a job
  • any other children under the care of either party
  • Any other children under the care of either party
  • What kind of alimony or spousal maintenance is being paid or received;
  • Obligor or obligee receives an automobile, house, or other benefits from his or her employer or business entity.
  • The parties or the child’s special education, health-care, or other expenses
  • The cost of traveling to obtain custody of and access to a child.
  • Cash flow from any estate and assets, including real estate, personal property, and business property, can be positive or negative.

How to Challenge or Modify Child Support Order in Idaho

  1. Fill this Petition for Child Support Modification
    Also, attach the following:
    – Affidavit Verifying Income
    – Shared or Split Custody Worksheet or
    – Standard Child Support Worksheet
  2. Serve the petition to the other parent
    – Acknowledgement of Service
    – Affidavit of Service with Orders
    Service by Publication (if you cannot find the other parent)
  3. Responding to a Modification
    – File a Response to a Modification Petition
    – Disclose required information in your response
  4. Finalizing a Modification (Let the court know that the other party was served – may respond within the mandatory 21 days or both parties are in agreement)

A parent must show that there’s been a substantial change in circumstances in order to alter child support. An Idaho court may consider an alteration if:

  • a parent’s employment has been lost,
  • migrated to another country,
  • Alternatively, if the custody agreement has changed.

Steps to Collect Child Support in Idaho

Steps to Collect Child Support in Idaho

Steps to Collect Child Support in Idaho

Getting a child support order in place is only half the struggle in Idaho. You’ll also have to collect the money itself. A noncustodial parent is responsible for paying the full amount of child maintenance per month as imposed by the court. Here are the steps for getting child support in ID

1. Open a Child Support Case

Complete a child support application with your local child support agency/office

2. Locate the Other Parent

To begin the child maintenance procedure in ID, the child support services (CSS) office will use the information provided by the applying parent, as well as information gathered from other sources, to try to locate the other parent.

3. Establish Parentage

It’s critical to establish a legitimate relationship with the child when the other parent has been located. The state will assist you in locating the sufficient means. Parents can choose to acknowledge their parentage voluntarily or organize a genetic screening.

4. Establish a Child Support Order

An Idaho child support order specifies how much the other parent should pay and includes details such as the payment schedule and provisions for the child’s health insurance.

5. Set Up Payment

Deducting child maintenance from a parent’s paycheck and transferring the money to the other parent or guardian is the most typical method of payment. It’s a simple way to make and track child support payments.

6. Enforce the Support Order

Your ID child support services will enforce the child support order if the noncustodial parent does not pay the full amount or does not pay any. Exposing overdue child support payments to credit bureaus, intercepting income tax refunds, and Withholding child maintenance from unemployment or worker’s compensation benefits are examples of other enforcement measures.

7. Review the Order

Three years after the order is issued, either parent can request their local child support office to revise it. They can ask for a reassessment sooner than three years if a parent’s situation has changed significantly, such as loss of employment or imprisonment.

Idaho Child Support Services Office, Number and Login Portal

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Child Support Services
Address: 1120 W Ironwood Dr, Coeur d’Alene,
ID 83814,
United States
Phone: +1 800-356-9868

Retroactive Child Support and Arrears

Withholding order is the enforcement measure that is most frequently used. In Idaho. Automatic income withholding is required for all child support orders. In other words, automatic withholding kicks in if the paying parent is one month behind and the money is taken out of their paycheck.

The courts and CSS may also take any of the following actions in addition to income withholding:

  • garnish the bank accounts of the paying parent.
  • withhold any state and federal tax returns due to the paying parent.
  • withhold a portion of some federal benefits; however, veterans’ disability benefits, need-based aid (such as SSI), federal student loans, and certain Social Security benefits are not included.
  • if delayed payments reach $2000, prepare for the suspension of the parent’s driver’s license, fish and game license, and any professional or vocational licenses.
  • place a lien on a paying parent’s home or property
  • intercept Retirement advantages under PERSI (Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho)
  • send parents who owe money to the U.S. State Department, which will refuse or cancel their passports, if they have more than $2500.
  • start contempt proceedings, in which the paying parent is required to attend court and provide justification for the parent’s violation of a valid court order; Contempt is a serious offense that carries fines and maybe jail time
  • Report unpaid child support balances to the credit reporting agencies.
  • for past-due child care, child support, and medical support payments, seek a court to sign and enter a “judgment”; a judgment has a terrible impact on a parent’s credit scores and empowers the government to pursue numerous intrusive procedures to collect on the judgment
  • send a case involving unpaid child support to the U.S. Attorney for possible federal prosecution, albeit this rarely happens.

How to Enforce Child support payments in ID

A parent or caregiver may get in touch with the Department of Health and Welfare Child Support Services and submit an application to have child support obligations in Idaho enforced.

If you feel the arrears are being demanded wrongly, you can learn how to get child support arrears dismissed HERE.

How to Check your Child Support Payment History in ID

Child Support Payment History in ID

How to Check Child Support Payment History in ID

When there are disagreements between the parents and a need to confirm how much money is owed, child support payment records are extremely beneficial.

Click Here for complete information on how to check child support history in ID.

How to Pay Child Maintenance in Idaho

In Idaho, parents can pay child maintenance in a variety of ways, as long as your order doesn’t state otherwise:

  • by debit or credit card,
  • mail,
  • check
  • bank transfer
  • direct deposit
  • income withholding, or
  • auto-draft from a bank account.

When Does Child Support End in Idaho?

The Idaho court may order that one or both parents support a child until:

  • the child is 18 years or finishes high school,
  • the child emancipates by getting married,
  • the child dies.

Nevertheless, if the judge determines that the child is disabled (physically or mentally), the child can receive support perpetually.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in ID?

According to ID laws, a presumption of at least $50 per month for each child in need of support must be rebuttable. The Judge should carefully evaluate the earnings and living expenses to ascertain the highest amount of support that can be justifiably granted without depriving a parent of the ability to sustain themselves at a minimum subsistence level if the paying parent’s monthly income is less than $800.00.

Custody Rights of a Child in Idaho

Understanding Custody Rights of a Child in Idaho

How Does ID Child Support Work if one Parent Has no Job?

Except for parents who are physically or mentally unable, potential income should not be taken into account for determining child support when a parent is willfully unemployed or underemployed.

If a parent is currently employed full-time in the same or a related occupation that they held for more than six months prior to the action being filed or the parties’ separation, whichever comes first, they are not considered to be under-employed. The six-month window for post-judgment motions is determined as of the motion’s filing date.

Normally, if a parent is taking care of a child who is under six months old, they are not considered to be underemployed. The following techniques may be used to determine potential income, depending on which is most appropriate:

i. Based on the parent’s employment history, occupational qualifications, and the prevalent job options and earnings levels in the locality, determine the child’s employment potential and likely earnings level.

ii. In cases when a parent is a student, one option for estimating prospective monthly income throughout the academic year is to take into account student loans from any source.

Is Child Support Tax Deductible in Idaho?

NO. In Idaho, child support payments are neither taxable to the recipient nor tax-deductible by the payer as stated by the IRS. Don’t include child support payments when calculating your gross income to see whether you have to file a tax return.

However, either parent may be eligible for a dependency exemption per child. If the parents can’t agree on who receives the exemption, the judge will set out the terms in a court order.

Getting a Skilled Idaho Child Support Attorney

If you are involved in a family law matter in Idaho, you may have a lot more questions than answers at this moment. You are not alone; Correspondence with members has shown that using the services of specialized child support attorneys saves a lot of hassles and most importantly, ensures you come out as a winner for you and your kid.

If you need to fight your child maintenance cause in ID with confidence, then you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.

Luckily, we have compiled a database of these expert child support lawyers and made them available for the convenience of our members. You can reach them at the click of a button for legal advice and representation on child maintenance.

Click Here to Get our Free Idaho Alimony recommendation.

Idaho Resource

- Idaho Child Adoption Guidelines
- Idaho Childcare Guidelines
- Idaho Child Custody and Visitation Guidelines
- Idaho Child Support Guidelines
- Idaho Divorce Guidelines
- Idaho Marital Property Guidelines
- Idaho Spousal Support Guidelines
- How to Check Idaho Child Support Payment History

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