Theoretical Child Support Law and Legal Definition

Theoretical child support refers to a presumed amount of child support owed by a parent according to child support guidelines established by the state. It is an amount generally determined before other considerations are factored into a final child support order. For example, in one state, where there is a shared custody arrangement, statutes provide that each parent's theoretical child support obligation shall then be cross multiplied by the actual percentage of time the child spends with the other party to determine the basic child support obligation based on the amount of time spent with the other party.