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How do the courts determine child support?

If you are in the process of a divorce that involves children, there is a good chance, depending on the financial situation of each spouse, that child support may be awarded to the custodial parent. Even in cases of joint custody, depending upon how much time each parent spends with the child or children and the financial situation of each parent, child support may be awarded. So, how is child support calculated?

The courts consider many factors before rendering a decision on child support. Just as they do when deciding child custody, one of the primary concerns is making certain that the best interests of the child are always met. This means they will look at the earnings of both parents and the child's standard of living prior to a separation or divorce, as well as the financial needs of the child such as medical expenses, insurance, day care, education or any special needs that may apply.

The courts recognize the financial strain that a non-custodial parent may face when paying child support. With this in mind, they will also look at not only the earnings of the non-custodial parent, but also their costs such as loan payments, income taxes and even previously ordered child support payments that the parent is currently paying from previous relationships.

There are serious financial ramifications when the courts make a child support ruling. It may be in your best interest to get more information about family law options to make sure that efforts are made to protect your best interests when facing child support during a divorce.

Source:, "How to calculate Child Support," Accessed April 24, 2017

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