If you are presently engaged or are planning to engage in child support negotiations, you are likely wondering how much you are going to pay or receive every month. Whatever the final figure is, it will no doubt have a major impact on your personal finances. Ultimately, it will be up to the judge presiding over your case to decide the amount, but in the meantime, it is possible to get an estimate by using an online child support calculator.
In order to get an estimate from the online calculator, you enter pertinent data about both you and your child's other parent. The information required by the calculator can include such things as both party's monthly take home pay, tax credits or other benefits and the percentage of time each party will have with the child.
With the information you provide, the calculator is able to work out a rough estimate of the amount of child support that either you or the child's other parent might be paying. But the online calculator's ballpark figure is not something to hang your hat on. There are simply too many variables that can be applied by a judge when he or she is figuring out the official support figure in accordance with the state's guidelines. In fact, in 2008, California actually issued an alert warning that its online calculator had been producing inaccurate results.
Rather than depending on a questionable source to tell you how much child support you will pay or receive, you may want to contact an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can look at your entire situation, including incomes, expenses and potential custody arrangements to help determine an appropriate level of child support. The attorney can then act on your behalf to help you work out a fair support agreement.