Families come in all different shapes and sizes in the United States and there's no such thing as a perfect family. Some Iowa families all live under one roof, some might be scattered in different neighborhoods, and others might be spread out throughout the state. There are plenty of families who can get along perfectly fine parenting from different locations. There are also some who can really struggle through the process.

If you're a parent who has to share time with your child, you might be all too familiar with what child support is and how it works. You might know how child support is calculated but what exactly is it supposed to cover? This process can be an incredibly difficult time for both parents in this situation, so I think it's important to understand exactly what child support payments are supposed to be used for, for those who are paying and receiving them.

Unsplash - Daiga Ellaby
Unsplash - Daiga Ellaby

How Is Child Support Calculated

Most people understand that child support is basically calculated by how much money you make. According to Find Law Iowa, "child support is based upon a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents after deductions for things such as federal and state income taxes, mandatory pension plans, mandatory occupational license fees, union dues, legal obligations for the child or spousal support, child care, etc."

What you may not be aware of is that things such as car payments, housing costs, credit union payments, charitable deductions, and savings plans will not count towards any deductions. Public assistance payments also will not count toward a parent's income. Here's where a lot of the fights start between single parents...

What Does Child Support Cover

In the state of Iowa, child support covers food, shelter, clothing, care, medical or hospital, education, funeral, and other reasonable and proper expenses based upon the parties' circumstances, according to Find Law Iowa.

Those who pay child support must continue to do so until the child is 18, or 19 if they are still in high school. Child support can continue longer if the child can't support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.

This entire process seems like it can be one big giant headache. For both those who receive child support payments and those who make the payments. If you ever find yourself wanting more information on child support guidelines, you can always contact an Iowa family law attorney, especially if you're having trouble making the payments.

If you fall too far behind on your payments, you can have money seized from your bank account as well as your tax refunds. Your wages can be garnished and you could have your income withheld. It's better to get ahead of the problem if you're having trouble making payments to find a solution, rather than putting it off.

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