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Child Support Calculators, State Laws, and Lawyers

Child support is a financial contribution paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent towards the expenses of raising his or her children.

It sounds simple until you begin to estimate child support payments.

Unfortunately, divorce is often wrought with emotions that cause common sense and rational thinking to be cast aside. Therefore, states impose specific guidelines that are followed in determining how much child support is to be allocated. estimate child support, child support laws

Each state is different, but to estimate child support, most states take into consideration the income levels (both earned and unearned) of both the parents as well as the expenses associated with raising the child.

Complicated formulas and schedules are used to estimate child support. However, keep in mind that a judge has the authority to deviate from the guidelines if he or she determines that a particular situation warrants it.

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10 Key Points To Keep In Mind To Estimate Child Support

1. Child support is money that is to be used for the child. The payor may not agree with how the funds are being used, but that isn't their decision to make. The use of child support funds is at the discretion of the custodial parent.

2. Even if the custodial parent earns more than the non-custodial parent does, child support payments generally have to be made.

3.Child support generally does not include extra curricular activities. Extra curricular activities are things such as Little League, dance lessons, etc. Generally speaking, both parents should contribute to these in addition to the court ordered child support. If there are specific, known extra expenses, their payment can be allocated in the original divorce agreement.

4. Child support is not taxable to the recipient and it is not deductible to the payor.

5. Make your child support payments on time with the knowledge that you are contributing to the support of your children. When it comes to caring for your children, there is no room for bitterness or anger at your ex. This is true for both parents.

6. It is common in most states to have wages garnished for child support. It is such a common occurrence that there is no longer any stigma attached to it. Most employers have direct deposit of payroll checks where the employee's pay can go to several accounts in the amount established by the employee. If this is available to you, you should try to make an agreement with your ex spouse to have the payments made through direct deposit. This will be easier for everyone.

7. Don't involve your children. They should never know the amount of support that's to be paid and discussions regarding support should be handled directly between the parents. Try to always keep the children "out of your battles."

8. If you are not receiving your payments, first try to work it out with your ex spouse. If that is not possible or satisfactory, then seek professional intervention with an attorney or mediator.

9. Remember to never use your children as pawns in a dispute. If payments are not made, don't interfere with the visitation rights of your ex-spouse. Support and visitation should be kept as separate issues. While the financial aspect is important, it is also important for the children to have the love and emotional support of both parents.

10. While payment amounts are determined based upon specific guidelines, they can also be negotiated. If you and your ex-spouse can reach a fair decision on what the payments should be, than all those involved will be happier in the long run. Try to avoid putting the determination of child support into the hands of the judge if you don't have to.

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