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Using a child support calculator

Divorcing parents in Texas may be concerned about calculating child support. If the couple cannot agree on support terms together, a judge will set the payment amount. To assist parents in planning their finances after divorce, court websites sometimes include child support calculators that can help explain how much a judge may order a parent to pay.

Calculators and worksheets can be helpful to parents who are trying to understand what their post divorce financial situation will look like. However, these tools have their limitations. Judges will consider multiple issues, including the amount of time each parent spends with the child, as well as additional expenses such as medical bills, special education programs and childcare.

Because these calculators are often imprecise, parents may want to avoid making assumptions about their financial situations until their divorce and custody arrangements are complete. Parents may also want to be particularly careful about keeping records that document the various expenses incurred by their child or children so that the court has good information to work with while making decisions about support.

Individuals who are concerned about child support may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer might be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding child support payments, custody issues and what to expect when going to court. In cases where child-support has already been set by mutual agreement or the courts, the attorney could seek a modification if the financial situation of either parent has changed since the original agreement.

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