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Understanding child support calculators and worksheets

Divorced Ohio parents who have minor children and who are trying to figure out how much child support that they might be required to pay or that they might receive often use child support worksheets or calculators to estimate the amounts. While these calculators can provide an estimate of what might be ordered, they do not give definitive amounts.

Ohio courts determine the appropriate child support amounts according to a number of factors. There are child support guidelines that judges use, but they can order child support in amounts that are higher or lower than the guideline amounts if they make certain findings. Courts generally order child support amounts that are in the best interests of the children.

Parents may use the child support calculators or worksheets as starting points for negotiations. It is possible for parents to agree to amounts other than what the calculators or guidelines indicate. If the parents are able to reach their own agreements and the court finds that they are in the best interests of the children, the court will accept them and make them part of an order.

People who are going through child custody and support disputes might benefit by consulting with experienced family law attorneys who can help their clients to understand what child support amounts they might expect in their cases. They may also work to negotiate full child custody and support agreements on their clients' behalf with the other parents. It is possible in many cases for family law attorneys to be able to help their clients to reach agreements in child custody and child support disputes without having to go through protracted and costly litigation.

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