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About child support calculators

Illinois parents who have young children and who are contemplating a divorce may question how much child support a non-custodial parent is supposed to pay. Child support calculators found online may offer an estimated amount that is far different from what a judge may order, as they are not as precise as many people may think.

A child support calculator may be one of the online tools a state may provide so that parents can use their financial information to estimate their child support payments. The information the calculator may request may include the monthly incomes of both parents, the amount of time the child spends with each parent and any type of benefits or tax credits the parents may receive.

The child support calculator should not be relied upon to provide the actual amount of child support a parent will have to pay. Even though a state may provide the tool, it does not mean that it incorporates the many variables that judges will take into account into the estimates it provides. Because judges have to calculate child support using formulas determined by state law, their calculations may be different depending on the parents' situations.

There are also external factors that shape how the actual child support amount is calculated. They can include day care expenses, and specialized health care, for example. Unlike the online calculator, the judge is able to factor in these supplementary costs when making the determination.

In many cases, the couple can attempt to negotiate a child support agreement with the help of their respective attorneys. Courts will usually approve them if they are in the best interests of the child.

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