Iowa Child Support Calculator


Court may increase support if combined income is more than $25,000.

Not in Iowa? Use your location's child support calculator.

Courts often use wrong parenting time estimates when calculating child support, which could make your child support either too high or too low.

Custody X Change calculates parenting time accurately, so your child support will have the fairest outcome for your kids.

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Iowa child support

Child support ensures both parents make financial contributions to their child's upbringing.

The parent who spends less time with the child pays support. However, if parents have a shared physical care schedule (equal or near-equal parenting time), the parent with the higher income pays.

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The person responsible for paying support is called the payor. The person receiving support is called the payee.

Child support ends for good once the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever happens later.

Use the calculator above or Iowa's child support estimator to get an estimated support amount. The latter is only for situations where the child primarily lives with one parent.

Child support basics

The child support guidelines are used to determine support amounts. The included guidelines schedule (rule 9.26) shows a family's basic support obligation: the minimum parents should spend on their kids based on their number of children and combined net incomes.

The payor pays a portion of the basic support obligation. For example, if they make 70 percent of the combined income, they pay 70 percent of the obligation. (They get a discount if they have at least 128 days of parenting time a year.) In cases of shared or split physical care, an alternate formula is used.

The judge may deviate from the guideline amount for unusual circumstances. Parents can also agree to an amount, but the court must approve.

The support order can include medical support as well.

You can request a support modification due to a major change like loss of employment.

Applying for child support

You can request child support when you apply for custody or divorce.

Attach the appropriate Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to your petition. Use Form 1 unless you agree to each complete Form 2, which is simplified. If you need to provide additional information, attach Form 3 as well.

Paying and receiving child support

The Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) processes support payments for "enforced" cases. A case is enforced if either parent receives public assistance or applies for Child Support Services (CSS).

The Collections Services Center (CSC) collects support for "nonenforced" cases. A case is nonenforced if it is not on file with CSS and there's a court order requiring child support to be automatically deducted from the payor's income.

The Clerk of Court's office in the county that made your support order can process payments if there's no income withholding order and you're not enrolled in CSS.

Both the CSRU and CSC are part of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). There are several methods for making payments and receiving payments through HHS.

Support payments will stop if parents reconcile or the child ends up in the primary care of the payor or a third party who does not want child support. You must ask HHS to suspend payments.

Enforcing child support

HHS can enforce orders on behalf of parents enrolled in CSS and children in foster care. It can seize income tax refunds and more to make up for missed payments. To enforce an order that's not on file, contact a lawyer or legal aid office.

If you're the payor and having trouble making payments, contact your child support office.

The payor should not withhold support because the payee denied visitation. The payee should not deny visitation because the payor missed support payments.

Postsecondary education subsidy

The court can require both parents to contribute to their child's undergraduate college costs not covered by financial aid or scholarships.

Each parent can be liable for up to a third of the cost of attendance at an in-state public institution, even if the child attends school outside of Iowa.

Calculating your parenting time in Iowa

In Iowa, noncustodial parents with at least 128 days of parenting time a year pay a reduced amount of child support. A day is anytime a parent cares for their child overnight.

Lawyers (and even the courts) usually estimate the number of overnights because counting manually is time-consuming. An inaccurate calculation can impact your child support order by thousands of dollars a year.

The Custody X Change app lets you quickly calculate your exact overnights.

With Custody X Change, you can tweak your schedule to see how even little changes affect your timeshare. And you'll see how your parenting time changes each year due to holidays and other events.

You'll also avoid common math errors, such as counting holiday time as an addition to regular parenting time instead of a replacement.

Whether you are paying or receiving child support, make sure your Iowa parenting time calculation is exact. The number will affect you, your child and the other parent for years to come.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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