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Estimating child support before going to court

A noncustodial parent going through a Texas divorce may be aware that he or she will likely be required to pay child support to the other parent. To get an estimate of how much the monthly payments might be before going to court, child support calculators are available. However, there are cases where they are not accurate.

A child support calculator is a tool that parents can use to estimate child support. These tools vary from worksheets that can be downloaded to an online calculator that parents can input their financial information into. These tools use the parents' income, any tax or other benefits parents receive and where the child spends his or her time. While these tools will give parents a ballpark estimate of how much the child support payments will be, they should be aware that judges use statutory formulas when making child support decisions. This means that the actual amount a person may be ordered to pay may differ.

Part of the reason the child support payments may not be the same is that judges have the ability to interpret situations differently than the parents. For example, a judge may determine that the child spends more time with a noncustodial parent than originally estimated, lowering the monthly child support payment amount.

In some cases, the two parents may agree that the child support estimate is too low or too high based on the parent's situation. With the help of a divorce attorney, a noncustodial parent may negotiate a different monthly amount or another arrangement that benefits the child and everyone involved. The attorney could help ensure that the suggested child support amount is still within the allowable parameters before the agreement is submitted to the court for its approval.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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