Average Child Support Awarded for a Stay at Home Mom??

Updated on March 20, 2011
L.W. asks from Beaverton, OR
14 answers

Hi Guys,

My husband and I are seperating and putting off "divorcing" traditionally until I can get my own medical coverage. I know this is pretty rare and I am glad we are trying to do it this way, but my question is how much is typically awarded to a stay at home mom who is now a jobless single parent who has to start over? I'm wondering what the percentage is roughly. We are trying to work it all out on our own and it's so confusing. I don't want to get railroaded, but I'd like to keep things civil as well while getting what I am deserving. Please no negative responses, I'm not ready to deal with that right now.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Here's the Oregon calculator:


Hope this helps--it's a general guideline--not specific.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Joplin on

as far as I know it is still just a percentage ( 17%) but if you are looking for spousal support in addition to child support I could not tell you, although from what I hear it is more rare to receive spousal support than it used to be, and sometimes it is granted only as a temporary basis.
Some of my friends have opted to go with a 50 50 split of time between households for their children and in those instances no support is awarded.
I am not trying to come across as mean, but if the two of you have split, no matter how civil you think you can make it, you still need to go through a lawyer, because the way life is invariably one of you will end up feeling slighted somehow and with a lawyer it just keeps everyone honest.
Now that you are no longer a couple it is really not his place to support you, you will have to find some means of supporting yourself, child support is supposed to aid in the support of the child, not take care of your needs. I do not know how things work state to state, but here in Missouri if you go and apply for assistance and do not have a support order for child support in place the state will take the initiative to go after the biological father to set up support for the child.
I wish you nothing but the best. It is never easy to start over.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well there is a formula each state uses considering a lot of different variables.

Also it's not uncommon for a husband to be required to provide health insurance for his ex wife for a certain length of time.

I know it's always best to try to work it out between the two of you, but you REALLY need to undertand your rights/responsibilities PRIOR to seeing a mediator. You REALLY should have a consult with you OWN attorney before you decide anything, now while your household is still joint.

I had been a SAHM for the better part of 20 years. And now that I'm divorced I'm STILL a SAHM. Here's why my ex agreed to more than minimum child support, if I go back to work full time, he will lose his tax deduction of 3 dependent children every other year. At his salary, it works out to MANY thousands of dollars loss for him, WAY more than the extra child support he pays.

We had just ONE meeting (me, him, ours lawyers) to work things out. He compromised, I compromised, it was a give and take. Even so it was really really yucky.

He pays $2500 a month for three kids, and provides them with health/dental until the youngest is emancipated, which is the end of the year when she turns 18, OR 21 as a FTS, which of course she will be. Plus a large life insurance poilicy, and college tuition (though not ALL the tuition).

Sounds good, but it's not nearly enough, and I had to give up my health insurance, I could've gone to court to fight for it, and probably won a couple years, but the legal fees for court are huge, and I might've lost. It's like poker, you know? Yuck.

So I can't stress enough how you need your OWN attorney, not ONE attorney who works for both of you.

Good Luck, I hope it works out for you and I hope you'll stand your ground for what you and your kids need. PM me if you like!


ADDED* I should also point out that While we have joint legal custody, the kids live 100% with me and only go to his house average of one Saturday night a month. He does not parent in anyway, by his choice not mine. So if he'd wanted a reduced child support he would have to actually be something of a custodial parent. And he's just not that interested.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Well, the hard part for you is re-entering the work force. A wardrobe, reliable transportation, child care, affordable housing, etc....

Here is the link to your states child support guidelines:

Since it is expected that you go to work and support yourself they base child support on his income. Minimum wage child support is only a few hundred dollars per month. So, depending on how much he makes annually the percentage is how much child support you can get divided by 12 months.

For instance, say he makes $12,000 per year or $1000 per month and child support is approx. 15% then it would be $150.00 per month. I know minimum wage is more than $1000 per month but it's easy to figure percentages on even numbers.

It is usually hard to get more out of soon to be exes over and above child support. That money is to go towards supporting the child and it's not nearly enough. I hope that you ask for alimony for a period of time so you can get a good paying job that will be enough to support your child and yourself. That money will be for the housing, car payments, insurance, etc...that is for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Oregon is not a community property state so often the woman gets only what she negiotiates for. In Medford there is a place that has all the books on Oregon law. It's called Legal Document Center. You can buy books and forms for all types of legal procedures you can do yourself. Divorce is one of the topics. All the books are up to date.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In Texas I believe you would get 20% of his paycheck(s) for one kid and at most 25% if you have more then one kid. Good Luck sweetie!

**Also, if you do decide to legally divorce you can get a lot of govt help! Just FYI :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

There is a worksheet you fill out to figure out child support in Oregon. It takes into account how many days your children spend with each parent, how much each of you earn and assumes that the SAHM must go back to work and earn minimum wage.

Even if you are separated but not divorced, see an attorney! Check around because some require a large deposit, others will consult by the hour. He/she can file something that gives you a specified monthly support during this transition time. Make it official and protect yourself. It doesn't matter how civil things are now, you will have peace of mind with all the financial stuff in writing and perfectly clear.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Child support has nothing to do with how or what you make. Your state should have a percentage they take from his paycheck and an amount extra for each additional child and they usually deduct half the cost of the Childs insurance. You are going to have to go back to work and support yourself like most women when they divorce or leave a relationship and were stay at home moms.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Yep, they're called child support guidelines. It is a formula used to compute the support obligation. Plug in your incomes and voila...

You should probably talk to an attorney about temporary alimony (rehabilitative alimony is what they call it, to get you back into the workforce).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Child support isn't based on averages...it is based on how much $ you guys make...so none of the answers will help you unless people state how much they bring home every month (which I am not sure people are gonna want to do...I know I don't want to say) but anyway...

I do not know how your state works but in Washington where I live the judge will set an amount of $ FOR YOU that YOU should be/could be making (even if its minimum wage, more so if you have a degree/experience) because you are required to help support your own child...not just the father. They then ask how much the father is making...then they calculate each parents % of the combined income to determine how you will split paying for your child's support....then the papers will say something like the father is responsible for 60% and the mother is responsible for 40%....or something like that.

Example: My hubby has 2 kids and in his divorce decree/child support order he is responsible for 64% of the kids support and the mother is responsible for 36%. FYI: His EX wife was also jobless at the time.

In the state of Washington there is a law that states no one parent can be made to pay more than 46% of their monthly gross salary.

So, I guess you could calculate your hubby's salary and start by looking at what 46% of his gross income would be and that might give you a rough idea? IDK? I personally feel this is way too high...why should one parent have to fork over almost half of their monthly income to help support their child when the other parent is jobless and not paying anything? I mean C'mon? You both made the baby and you both have to contribute financially to help raise and support your child.

~It's great that you guys are trying to work together but you guys really should get lawyers. If you don't want to get lawyers involved because of the $$$, but you know you guys can still be civil and work things out fairly...maybe just get 1 lawyer for you both and hash it out like that???

Best wishes...and might I say you have a very nice (almost) ex-husband to put all this stuff off so that you can get health insurance...not a lot of couples who are going through a divorce think this way...he obviously is going to be more than fair to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

In NH it is 25% of the paying parents pay for the first child and 8% for the second. Im sure it is different in each state. I'd call your local child support office and just ask a few questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You need to know that the state of oregon even if you don't make any money And the single stay at home mom the state still calculates that you Make 1550$$ or something around that amount. They say you are capable of getting a minimum wage job so that is what they count against you (never mind the fact that daycare cost. That much!) You Need to talk to a good lawyer so u can know your rights.



answers from Milwaukee on

It doesn't matter if you work or not. The child should receive the amount that is listed in the guidelines. Look it up online. By no means don't let them tell you your child deserves less because you aren't working. File for food stamps and medical assistance right away. Don't stay because you're waiting for medical coverage if you want out. They will most likely go by the wage you were at when you lost your job.



answers from Chattanooga on

I didn't read the other answers, but your income doens't generally affect how much you get. It usuallly depends on HIS income. When my parents divorced, my Dad had to move out. We moved to the other side of the state, since his job couldn't possibly support 4 kids and himself. (My dad got custody because my mom just walked out on us) She only had to pay $200 a month.. that's $50 per kid!!! Even that she rarely paid...

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