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How to determine an adequate child support amount

When Florida parents of minor children divorce, the non-custodial parent will generally be ordered by the court to pay child support to the custodial parent. To determine how much support should be provided, parents may use a child support calculator. However, what the calculator says and what a judge may ultimately order may differ significantly. However, this doesn't mean that the calculator is not accurate.

When a person uses this tool, he or she will enter basic information such as annual income, tax credits received and how much time he or she spends with the child. A judge may also order additional support for medical care or other reasonable expenses not included in the original calculation. In some cases, parents may over or underestimate how much time that they spend with their children.

Of course, it is possible that a state's child support calculator is not working properly. This happened in 2008 in California. A child support calculator will also not take into account modifications made to an agreement because a parent loses a job or suffers a health issue. Parents are encouraged to go to a mediator or consult with an attorney to increase the odds that a support order best reflects their own personal situations.

Paying adequate child support to a custodial parent is in the best interest of the child. It may also work to prevent putting additional strain on public services. If a parent has not received support as ordered, it may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney who may work to compel payment. There are a variety of enforcement methods, such as a wage garnishment, that the attorney could request from the court having jurisdiction over the matter.

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