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How will I know how much to pay in child support?

The amount of child support you'll pay after a divorce or separation from your child's other parent will depend on a number of factors. First, the state guidelines will determine how much of your income can be taken for child support. The child support guidelines also look at your living expenses and the needs of the child involved in the case to determine how much you should owe.

What do my spouse and I need to give the judge?

Judges like to look at financial statements when they're looking at the amount of income and expenses each parent has. Each parent should indicate all sources of income and all outgoings so the judge can make a fair determination for child support.

Should I use a child support calculator online?

You may have seen online child support calculators at various sites online. While you might think you can use these to determine how much child support you'll have to pay, be wary. These calculators can come up with an estimate, but a judge will make a final determination that is based on facts provided by both parents in court. Even if the facts are the same as what you put into a calculator, the results the judge arrives at may not be the same.

Are only my wages considered to be income?

When you determine your income, remember that there are many kinds of income you have to consider. It's not just your wages. If you receive benefits from the government, have won prize money, receive disbursements from an estate, or have a pension, these can factor into the judge's final decision.

Source: FindLaw, "How Much Child Support Will You Pay?," accessed May 20, 2016

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