Rhode Island Child Support Calculator

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

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

Rhode Island child support isn't usually affected by parenting time

In Rhode Island, the amount of child support is figured based on a percentage of each parent's income, and parenting time doesn't factor into the formula.

If parents are providing "shared placement," however, a different formula is used to determine child support amounts. Accurate parenting time numbers can directly affect your child support in this case – whether you pay or receive.

You can use the calculator above to get an estimate of your support amount.

Most parenting time totals are estimates (and thus incorrect)

Rhode Island lawyers and judges often rely on parenting time estimates, even if they are incorrect, because counting parenting time is tedious and time consuming. Divorcing parents often rely on these estimates as well.

Using estimates means your parenting time totals are wrong when compared to your actual parenting time schedule. Keep your parenting time fair and exact with accurate records.

How to calculate parenting time instead of relying on estimates

To calculate parenting time, the easiest and most accurate way is to use software. Without software, you're forced to add up hours 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 parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate My Parenting Time Now

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

You can also track what actually happens, and show how much parenting time 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 about Rhode Island child support

In any divorce, Rhode Island family courts award custody of the children to one or both parents. Custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody can have an impact on the amount of child support in Rhode Island.

In a Rhode Island physical custody case, the family court will designate a primary physical custodian.  The residential parent hosts the children the majority of the time. The nonresidential parent has visitation or parenting time.

A Rhode Island family court awards shared physical custody to most cases, except where the children's best interests or a parent's health or safety are an issue.

Rhode Island child support formula and parenting time totals

In Rhode Island, a basic child support formula is used to determine child support amounts. If parenting time is considered equal, then a different formula is used.

In the basic formula, both parent's incomes are added together, then calculated to determine the basic child support obligation. In Rhode Island, the nonresidential parent pays child support to the residential parent.

When each parent has at least 49% of the parenting time, you qualify for a different child support amount.

In the Rhode Island formula, each parent's gross income is determined and then allowable deductions are made. Deductions can include health insurance obligations for the children or day care expenses, for example. The net income is then used in the child support formula.

Why accurate parenting time percentages are important in Rhode Island

Accurate parenting time percentages are important because Rhode Island law sets up two different child support formulas to calculate amounts. Your total parenting time percentage must be at leaset 49 percent in order to use the shared care formula.

If your parenting time is approximately 50 percent annually, you will qualify for this equal care formula. If you use estimates of your parenting time, which are not approximately 50 percent of the time annually, your child support amount may not be fairly calculated.

Examples of Rhode Island child support

Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert's net income is $4,000 per month, while Mary's net income is $2,400 per month. They have two children.

See how the child support amounts change in these examples:

  • Scenario #1: Robert is the nonresidential parent. According to the Rhode Island child support formula, Robert pays $968 in child support each month to Mary.
  • Scenario #2: Mary is the nonresidential parent. Mary pays $581 in child support to Robert.
  • Scenario #3: Robert hosts the children for 49 percent of the year. This qualifies the case for the shared care formula. Robert pays $387 in child support to Mary. This is because he is the higher earner.
  • Scenario #4: Robert and Mary earn the same amount, $4,000 per month, but she is designated as the residential parent. Robert pays $902 in child support to Mary.

In Rhode Island, the child support formula results in the nonresidential parent paying child support to the residential parent, regardless of income. When parents have at least 49% of parenting time, the higher earning parent pays the lower earning parent.

Other factors in the Rhode Island child support formula

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

  • Each parent's monthly gross income.
  • The number of children who are under 18 or still in high school.
  • Certain deduction amounts, such as the cost of health insurance premiums for the children or the cost of child care.
  • A pre-existing child support or alimony obligation by either parent

Parenting time only figures into the child support formula when both parents have at least 49% of time. You could also submit your total parenting time to the court to show whether it is substantially in excess of the standard visitations in Rhode Island.

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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island child support and parenting time

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

  1. Rhode Island family courts prefer to award shared custody to divorcing parents, unless one of the parents is considered unfit.
  2. The Rhode Island courts use a state guideline to determine what the nonresidential parent will pay. The guidelines specify that both parent's income and the number of children to support are key factors in figuring correct child support amounts.
  3. Unless the parents are essentially following a 50/50 parenting time split, the nonresidential parent pays child support to the residential parent. When parents have at least 49% of parenting time, the higher earning parent pays the lower earning parent.
  4. Rhode Island law does allow family courts to approve deviations from the child support formula. One possibility might be that the nonresidential parent's parenting time greatly exceeds what is considered standard visitation.

Use the Custody X Change software to accurately calculate your total parenting time to present to an Rhode Island family court.


The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate My Parenting Time Now

The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate My Time
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The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.

Calculate My Parenting Time Now

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