Breaking Down the Louisiana Child Support Formula

family law attorney Bossier City, LA

Child custody in Louisiana can be a complicated process, especially when discussing child support. Generally speaking, child support is based on the parents’ combined adjusted gross income. However, it’s actually not that simple. The formula for child support calculation can be a bit confusing. So here’s a simple guide for you, which you can use while consulting with your attorney.


Input your combined adjusted monthly gross income

This is the gross income of both parties, which means you need to input both your income before taxes and adjustments. If you already have pre-existing child support and/or spousal support payments that you make from a previous case, you can already deduct it from your gross income.

(Monthly Gross Income for Parent A – Pre-Existing Child Support – Pre-Existing Spousal Support Payments)


(Monthly Gross Income for Parent B – Pre-Existing Child Support – Pre-Existing Spousal Support Payments)


Combined Adjusted Monthly Gross Income


Find each parent’s percentage share of income

After getting your combined monthly gross income, you will then use that figure to get the percentage of income for you and your spouse.

(Monthly Gross Income for Parent B – Pre-Existing Child Support – Pre-Existing Spousal Support Payments)


Combined Adjusted Monthly Gross Income

You need to do this twice to get your percentage and your spouse’s percentage.


Refer to the Basic Child Support Obligation table

This is a worksheet that indicates the schedule of support to be used for determining the basic child support obligation amount according to the state of Louisiana.


Determine the additional adjustments

Once you get the basic child support obligation amount, you can add in the additional adjustments defined below and subtract the child’s income, if applicable:

  1. Child Care Costs
  2. Child’s Health Insurance Premium Cost
  3. Extraordinary Medical Expenses
  4. Extraordinary Expenses
    Minus Extraordinary
  5. Adjustments such as child’s income, if applicable.


Calculate the total child support obligation

This is done by adding all items from the previous step to the basic child support obligation number you found in the table above.

Basic Obligation + A + B + C + D - E


Total Obligation


Calculate your portion of the obligation

Remember the percentage share of income you got from Step 2? Use those percentages to calculate the actual obligation both parents need to pay for.

Total Obligation x Parent A%


Total Obligation x Parent B%


Calculate the recommended child support order

The court will consider additional direct payments made by the noncustodial parent on behalf of the child for childcare costs, health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, or extraordinary expenses. For the custodial parent, you get the total of all that and subtract it from the amount you arrived at in Step 6.

If you have a question about child custody in Louisiana, contact The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl today.

The Bottomline—Ask Help From an Attorney

The state of Louisiana uses the income share method for calculating child support payments. The steps mentioned above pretty much sums up how the calculation is made, but it’s still recommended that you seek the help of a family law attorney to help you with the process. This also ensures that you avoid any complications, especially on the calculation of child support payments.

The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl is here to help in matters concerning family law, criminal defense, expungements, wills and successions, personal injury, and civil disputes. Christopher is also a family law attorney in Bossier City, LA providing legal services since 2012. If you want to request a consultation, contact Christopher at 318-746-5610 or through his website.

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