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How Does the Judge Determine Child Support?

If you are in the process of negotiating a child support agreement, our divorce lawyers in Jacksonville FL may be able to help you. Divorce court lawyers follow state-specific laws to determine a fair child support arrangement and use guidelines and formulas to arrive at a payment calculation. Judges also consider the tax consequences before combining child and spousal support.

Determining Support Payments

The first consideration in child support calculations is eligibility. The judge first determines whether the child is eligible to receive support. Many states only require support until the child reaches a certain age or becomes emancipated. Other states require that one parent offers support throughout college, and children with disabilities may receive ongoing support. Many states treat other care-related expenses, such as medical care, daycare and after school activities as a part of the child support obligation. Others allow parents to work out payment arrangements for such expenses between themselves. In nearly half of all states, your judge will base payments on the amount of time the payor spouse has the children in his or her care. High-income payors are also able to be held to a different standard than the state formula for child support. This means that a high-income payor often pays more than other parents would for child support payments. However, it can also mean that the high-income payor pays less child support than he or she would have under the state payment formulations. This is done to prevent a particularly high support payment from becoming alimony for the non-payor spouse.

Calculating the Support Amount

Before your case ever goes before a judge, there are a variety of calculating programs that divorce lawyers in Jacksonville FL can help you use to determine what you can expect from your custody arrangement. Having a general idea of what your payments will be before going to court can help you make the necessary financial preparations.

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