Main Menu Practice Areas
Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
888-268-7997 / 214-385-4562

Are child support calculators accurate?

If you are a noncustodial parent, you may be curious about how much child support you will be required to pay, or how exactly that number is even determined. If you are the custodial parent, you may be curious how the number is determined because it could show you how key changes in the noncustodial parent's life can affect the support you receive for your child. In either case, understanding how child support is calculated can only help you.

Calculators vary based upon the state in which you reside. In Texas, the calculator is an online form that takes the financial information you provide and calculates a payment amount. Sometimes, the estimate given is unreliable or simply wrong.

How is it that the estimate can be substantially different than the amount the court determines? Simple. A judge is left to interpret your situation and may not use the same percentages as you do. You may estimate that you spend 45 percent of your time with your child and a judge may feel you spend only 30 percent of your time caring for the children. That lesser percentage equates to a pretty sizable difference in required financial support.

The calculator doesn't account for payments that a judge will take into account. For example, if the custodial parent foots the bill for emergency or specialized care, tuition at a private school or daycare costs, the noncustodial parent may be required to pay a higher amount because the judge feels it's fair.

If you are working on a collaborative divorce, you may find that you and your spouse can come up with your own custody and support plan. There is no guarantee that a judge won't modify this based upon his or her perception of what would be fair and in the best interest of the child but an agreement from both parents can go a long way.

Consulting a family law attorney may go far in the eyes of a judge and can help both custodial or noncustodial parents get to a child support number they can live with. Your attorney may be able to find the ideal amount allowed by law to keep everyone happy and provide the child with a stable quality of life.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information