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Why child support calculators may not be accurate

When a Florida couple is heading towards divorce, determining how much the non-custodial parent may be required to pay in child support may be a priority. Before the couple heads to court, they could use a child support calculator to estimate the child support payments. However, it should be noted that the amount is only an estimation and a parent may be ordered to pay more or less by the court.

All states offer some form of child support calculator that allows parents to estimate the amount of child support they may be responsible for paying. However, these are not always accurate due to the fact that judges are required to use the state's statutory formula to determine how much in child support the parent will be ordered to pay. While both the calculator and the formula use certain information, such as the parent's monthly income, tax benefits, debt and other factors, the judge can potentially interpret a parent's situation differently, thus ordering a payment amount that is different than what was originally estimated.

Judges may also take a variety of other external factors into consideration that the parent did not. These other factors could include additional expenses, such as school costs, health care and emergency expenses. Further, there are cases when the calculator is simply flawed and does not produce an accurate amount.

The parent who is ultimately responsible for the everyday care of the children can use child support to help cover the costs of housing, schooling, medical care and food, among other costs. If the other parent refuses to make the ordered payments, a child support attorney could go to court and request that the child support order be enforced through methods such as wage garnishments or bank account levies.

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