Idaho Child Support & Overnight Calculations

Idaho child support is based on the number of overnight visits

Idaho uses overnights, or where the children sleep, as the basis for figuring shared custody timeshare percentages in its child support formula.

Besides income, overnight percentages are a key part of the Idaho shared child support formula. Your overnights directly affect your child support, whether you pay or receive.

Most overnight totals are estimates (and thus incorrect)

Idaho attorneys and judges often rely on overnight estimates, even if they are incorrect, because counting overnights is tedious and time consuming. Divorcing parents often rely on these estimates as well.

Using estimates means your overnight totals are wrong when compared to your actual parenting time schedule. This means your child support amount will not be fair or exact.

How to calculate overnights instead of relying on estimates

To calculate overnights, the easiest and most accurate way is to use software. Without software, you're forced to count each night for a whole year, which is error-prone when you include alternating holidays, summer break, and any changes to the schedule throughout the year.

The leading overnight calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your overnights to see if they were estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Overnights Now

Using software, you can also tweak your schedule to see how even little changes affect your total overnights, and you can see how your overnights change each year due to holidays and other events.

You can also track what actually happens, and show how many overnights you've actually received for any period of time. Historical information is a powerful tool when you request a child support modification or when you request more parenting time.

Fast facts on Idaho child support

In any divorce, Idaho family courts award custody of the children to one or both parents. Custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. A parenting time percentage is included in the child support formula for shared custody.

Idaho sole physical custody: The children reside with and are supervised by the residential parent, while the other parent is entitled to overnight visitations. In Idaho, sole physical custody is given to the parent with whom the children spend the most time with.

Idaho shared physical custody: Each parent has significant periods of physical custody, which allows them frequent and continuing contact with their children. Idaho law outlines shared custody as any arrangement in which the child has regular and continuing contact with both parents. Shared physical custody in Idaho means the non-residential parent must host the children for at least 35 percent of the year, or 110 overnights.

Idaho child support formula and parenting time adjustment

Idaho family courts use a formula that considers both parents' incomes and the needs of the child to arrive at a monthly child support amount.  The parenting time percentage adjustment only figures into joint physical custody cases.

Sole custody formula: The total income between the two parents is put into the formula, then a basic monthly support is figured by using the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. Certain deductions are allowed when figuring total income. The residential parent receives child support from the non-residential parents according to Idaho law.

Joint custody formula: Idaho family courts use a different formula to figure out child support for equal parenting time. To qualify for a parenting time adjustment credit, the non-residential parent must host the children for at least 110 overnights. The difference between the two incomes is then calculated. The higher earner pays that difference as child support to the lower earner.

Examples of sole child custody and Idaho child support

Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert earns $4,000 per month, while Mary earns $2,400 per month. They have two children.

See how the child support amounts change in these examples:

  • Scenario #1: Robert, the non-residential parent, pays $821 per month in child support to Mary.
  • Scenario #2: If Mary is the non-residential parent, she pays $503 in child support to Robert.
  • Scenario #3: If Robert and Mary both earned $4,000 per month, and Robert is the non-residential parent, he pays $756 in child support to Mary.

In Idaho, the non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent, regardless of income.

Examples of joint custody formula and Idaho child support

Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert earns $4,000 per month, while Mary earns $2,400 per month. They have two children.

See how the child support amounts change in these examples:

  • Scenario #1: If Robert hosts the children for 110 overnights, or 30 percent of the time, it figures into the child support formula. In this instance, Robert pays $379 in child support to Mary. This is because he is the higher earner.
  • Scenario #2: If Robert hosts the children for 128 overnights, or 35 percent of the time, he pays $321 in child support to Mary.
  • Scenario #3: If Robert hosts the children for 165 overnights, or 45 percent of the time, he pays $206 in child support to Mary.
  • Scenario #4: If Robert hosts the children for 182 overnights, or 49 percent of the time, he pays $160 in child support to Mary.
Other factors in the Idaho child support formula

Idaho's child support formula uses the following information to calculate your monthly amounts for shared custody child support:

  • Overnights: Unlike some states, Idaho does not factor in daytime visitations into a child support formula—only overnights. However, overnights must include more than just providing children with a place to sleep. Overnights are included in the formula as a parenting time credit.
  • Eligible children: In Idaho, child support ends when a child turns 18, which is the age of majority, upon emancipation or at age 19 if the child still attends high school.
  • Gross earnings: Gross earnings are established based on tax records and current pay stubs. Idaho law requires the use of both parents' incomes from the equivalent of one full-time job to determine a child support amount.
  • Specific deductions: There are some deductions allowed by Idaho family courts that allow an adjustment of the income, including health insurance premiums for the children, support for other children and child care expenses, for example.
How accurate child support helps your children

Paying accurate child support helps your children in several ways, primarily because it ensures their financial needs are met.

Here are some other reasons why accurate overnight numbers help you, the other parent and your children:

  • It provides a fair way to determine your child support amounts
  • It guarantees the child support amount reflects each parent's responsibilities
  • It allows for modifications if your actual time and scheduled time are different
  • It is compliant with Idaho law

Your financial obligations to your children don't end with divorce, so whether you are paying or receiving child support, you owe it to your children to pay or receive the proper amount.

Top 5 things to remember about Idaho child support and overnights

To ensure you are paying or receiving the right amount of child support in Idaho, remember these 5 things:

  1. Child support in Idaho is determined by the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are located in Idaho Revised Statutes 25-320.
  2. Sole physical custody child support formulas include a parenting time credit based on the number of quarter days, half days and full days that the non-residential parent hosts the children.
  3. The higher the parenting time percentage, the lower the child support amount, generally.
  4. Joint physical custody child support formulas assume a 50/50 parenting time split, approximately 182 days per parent. No parenting time credits figure into the formula.
  5. Idaho child support increases whenever a child turns 12, in both sole custody and joint custody situations.

Use Custody X Change software to create a joint custody schedule that will quickly calculate the total overnights for the Idaho child support formula.

As you negotiate what kind of joint custody schedule will best fit your needs, the software will accurately calculate your parenting time percentage.


The leading overnight calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your overnights to see if they were estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Time

The leading overnight calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your overnights to see if they were estimated incorrectly.

Calculate Your Overnights Now