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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

The flaws inherent with child support calculators

If a Tennessee resident is going to use a child support calculator, he or she should understand that it is only an estimate. The calculator generally only incorporates basic information such as how much a parent makes each year in addition to taking other benefits into consideration. The calculator may also be flawed because it may be difficult for a parent to determine how much time is spent with a child.

If a judge finds that a parent spends 50 percent of his or her time with a child instead of 30 or 40 percent, that could alter a child support calculation. A judge may also decide to add in other costs such as medical care or other reasonable or necessary expenses to provide for a child. It is important to take into account that calculators may not be working properly when a parent uses them.

California admitted that its calculator was not working properly during part of 2008. Parents should keep in mind that state law may mandate how much support should be paid and for how long. Even after a ruling is created, it may be modified in the future if a parent is laid off or deals with a health issue. In some cases, it may be best for parents to work together to create an agreement that they can both live with.

In a child support dispute, the best interests of the child take priority over the feelings of either parent. In addition, parents may only be required to pay what they can afford to provide. It is important to note that parents may be required to pay support as ordered until that order is modified. This may be true even if a parent is having a hard time doing so.

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