Iowa Support Master

by Alft & Wilson Publishing

Brain Teaser

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Troublesome Calculations

Open the 2019 Iowa Support Master software and enter these figures:

NCP income $95,000.00
CP income $45,000.00
Tax Information - each claims 1 child and both claim Head of Household
Medical - check the box provided at no cost.
Number of Children for support - 2

You should see child support of $1,345.37.

Check the box indicating "Shared Physical Care" in the "Number of Children for Support" screen.

Child support is now $476.06.

We know that the $476.06 is the amount owed by the NCP to the CP. Considering our entries above, each party will claim one child and both will file as Head of Household. Everything seems right.

The Twist - this is where it gets tough... how good are you at Iowa child support and can you stump Mike and Pat?

Uncheck the "Shared Physical Care" box and again, you should see support of $1,345.37.

Next, click on the "Split" button then click on OK.

The pop-up screen will display that each party claims one and what do we see as the offset? You should see $445.80.

Shared Custody - $476.06 same two kids Split Custody - $445.80

Why is there a difference? Why are the numbers different between shared custody and split custody? In shared aren't both parents sharing the same two kids equally? In split, aren't we talking about each parent taking care of one child? Why is there a difference?

If you were representing the NCP, would you not simply say ... let's do split custody because my client will pay $445.80 per month vs. $476.06. That is a difference of $30 per month or $360 per year.

Explain what the difference is between split and shared in this situation. Send your answer to