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Child support calculators do not include all circumstances

Pennsylvania parents who are considering a divorce might be thinking about how much child support they or their spouse will pay monthly. If they choose to look up the amount using a child support calculator worksheet that corresponds to state laws, they might find later on that a judge will order a different monthly payment amount.

Judges take things into consideration that child support worksheets do not. For example, a judge might choose to include extra expenses in the monthly payment such as emergencies, tuition, day care or special health care a child may need. Even if judges do not include these expenses, they might not come to the same conclusions as parents who are paying child support regarding how much time they spend with their children. The amount of time parents spend with their children is a significant factor in the calculation of their child support payment.

If parents want to have more control over the amount they will pay each month, they can attempt to come to an agreement on their own. Nonetheless, a judge still has the final say over the payment amount. In addition, even if a judge agrees with the amount that two spouses chose, it is still subject to change if necessary.

Parents who are in a situation that requires them to pay child support or that will eventually require them to make payments might choose to ask an attorney for help. A family law attorney can often assist a divorcing client in negotiating a support agreement that can then be submitted to the court for its approval.

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