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3 Tips When Using A Child Support Calculator

A common question divorcing parents have concerns the amount of child support they will be accountable for. Child support payments are intended to cover needs of the child and are determined according to state law.  The amount takes into account factors such as parental income and projected expenses of the child.  The court may determine a percentage of a non-custodial parent's income to be used to support the child or children, or may instead choose another method of valuation.

There are a number of child support calculators available for free online.  Using one can be helpful in providing a ballpark figure of how much child support may be due.  Here are some things to keep in mind when using an online child support calculator:

1.  You will need to input some basic information into the child support calculator.  Usually all that is required is the net monthly income of you and of your spouse, number of children, and costs of the children including health insurance, daycare, and education expenses.  

2. The amount calculated may underestimate the amount that will actually be due.  At best, the amount calculated represents an estimate of the amount that will be due.  However, depending on unaccounted-for expenses or changing needs of the child, the number delivered by the child support calculator may be a little shy of what your attorney or the judge may come up with.

3. Print out the results for your attorney's review. You can discuss the results of the child support calculator with your attorney.  He or she should also be able to estimate child support amounts based on your information.  Use the results of the various calculations to come up with a more comprehensive range. And be sure to ask any questions or bring up any other considerations that could help in determining the amount of child support payment that will be due.

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