Unemployment and Child Support

How does unemployment affect child support?

Unemployment and child support are related. It can result in lower child support payments. However, this will depend why you are unemployed. Were you laid off, or were you fired? Did you quit your job, or were you injured? Are you in treatment or in jail?

The Court will look at whether you are unable to find work, or if you are voluntarily underemployed.

Laid off and collecting unemployment

If you were laid off by your employer, then you are probably OK. Your unemployment benefits are considered your income. The benefit is usually ¬† Continue reading “Unemployment and Child Support”

What is my income for child support?

By Steve Harton

Child support in Wyoming is calculated using parents’ net incomes. Net income is calculated by subtracting some deductions from a parent’s gross income. In this post I will explain what is income for child support purposes.

Definition of income for child support

Income means any form of payment or return in money or in kind to an individual, regardless of source.

What is included in income?

Income includes all sorts of things. Some are obvious, some are not. Here Continue reading “What is my income for child support?”

Net Income for Child Support Calculation

In Wyoming, the courts use net income for child support calculations. Net income is not the amount you see on your paycheck. It is not the amount that gets direct deposited into your account.

What is Net Income for Child Support Calculations?

Net income is your gross income less certain deductions. These deductions are set out in Wyoming Statutes Section 20-2-303(a)(iii). The are as follows:

Personal income taxes

These are state and federal income taxes that you pay. The taxes must be based on your actual situation. You cannot claim more income taxes than you should actually be paying. In other words, if you are married and have two kids, you cannot claim zero exemptions. That would increase your withholding, and result in a big tax refund. Therefore, you did not actually pay that much in income taxes.

Social Security deductions

This is pretty much self explanatory. This would also be the railroad retirement deduction you have if you work for the railroad.

Cost of dependent health care coverage for dependent children

This deduction is the actual amount the coverage costs for the children. It is not necessarily the amount that gets deducted on your check, because that probably includes coverage for yourself. However, it does include premiums for dental and vision coverage.

Actual court ordered support payments for other children

This is a court ordered child support obligation for other children. In order to deduct this, you must actually be paying the other support obligation.

Payments for back child support or arrearages are not deductible.

Mandatory pension deductions

Some companies and government agencies still have mandatory pensions. Your mandatory contributions to these programs are deductible. (This includes union dues, which are a sort of mandatory retirement deduction). However, 401k and IRA contributions are not deductible, because they are not mandatory.


Determining your net income for child support purposes is not as easy as looking at your check. There are a lot of “normal” payroll deductions that are not deducted for child support, such as disability insurance, 401k, etc.

How can we help?

Here at WYeLawyers, we can look at your pay, and accurately calculate your net income for child support. Even if you are representing yourself, we can help you this part right. So take the next step and set up a consultation by calling 307-382-5545.

By Steve Harton

Additional Resources