Federal laws require every state to have guidelines and provisions for the calculation and enforcement of child support. In Idaho, these guidelines are covered in the Idaho Statutes Title 32 Domestic Relations, Chapter 12.
Establishing Child Support
In Idaho, both parents share legal responsibility for providing for a child's support, regardless of custody. The Idaho Child Support Guidelines outline each parent's responsibilities and rights in the determination of support. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Child Support Services (CSS) enforce these guidelines in the state. If you wish to establish child support in Idaho, you can begin the process by:
- Including child support provisions in your decree of divorce and parenting plan, (court filing fees apply)
- Contacting an attorney to initiate a child support order, (attorney's fees apply)
- Applying for services at CSS (there is a $25 fee to apply)
Idaho uses a basic calculation that takes a number of factors into account, including:
- Combined income of both parents
- Percentage of the combined income that each parent makes
- Number of children
- The Support Guidelines Schedule (found on pages 17 through 22 of the Idaho Child Support Guidelines, linked above)
A number of factors may cause a deviation from the standard obligation of support, including:
- Educational expenses
- Health care and health insurance costs
- Shared or split physical custody
- Agreed upon deviations by both parents
- Work-related childcare costs
Tax Benefit and Health Insurance
In Idaho, support orders also make provisions for health insurance and tax benefits. The order allows for a state tax exemption, which can be calculated based on tables starting on page seven in the Idaho Support Guidelines.
Each order will also provide for health insurance for the child, as well as payment for extraordinary health care. In general, each parent will be required to provide health insurance should it be available to them at a reasonable cost determined by the courts. Likewise, if more than $500 out-of-pocket payments are made to one parent, the payments must be approved by agreement of both parents or court order. Extraordinary costs will be apportioned based upon the parent's percentage of the total income earned.
Either parent may request review of a child support order if circumstances have changed substantially. These circumstantial changes include:
- A change in the availability of medical insurance
- Financial compensation changes that will result in an increase or decrease of monthly support by more than 15 percent and at least $50
- A change in custody or emancipation of one of the children
To request a modification review, parents can contact an attorney or initiate the process by mailing a request to:
Idaho Child Support
P.O. Box 70008
Boise, ID 83707-0108
CSS charges a $225 fee to assist in order modification. Once the modification is initiated, the parents may agree on a modification, or they may appear before a judge to dispute any changes to support.
Collection and Distribution
All child support payments are processed through CSS. Payers can make payments online or opt for a payroll deduction. Payees can receive payments via direct deposit or by having payments loaded on an Idaho Family Support Debit Card.
For More Information
Parents with questions about child support in Idaho can learn more by visiting the CSS website or by talking with an attorney about their rights and responsibilities.