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How can you figure out what a child support award or obligation might look
like in your particular case? It’s a good idea to sit down and assemble a list
of documents and items to have ready when you’re either filling out your
own child support worksheet or you’re asking for somebody to help you
with it.

Your gross monthly income

First of all, make sure you know your gross monthly income and at least
have a good idea of your partner’s gross monthly income. That’s because
those are the very first dollar amounts that are inserted at the top of your
child support worksheet.

The overnight split between you and your partner

It’s also really beneficial if you have an idea of the overnight split between
you and your partner. For example, if the two of you have agreed to 50/50
parenting time, 183 overnights would go into your column, and 182
overnights go into your partner’s column. The number of overnights that
each parent has plays a pivotal role in determining what a child support
obligation could look like in the end.

Additional considerations

Who covers the kids on health insurance? If it’s you, make sure you know
the dollar amount that you pay on a monthly basis in order to maintain their coverage. That way, you can be given credit for that amount on the child
support worksheet.

Do you and your spouse have to pay for daycare or any other work-related
childcare expenses? If so, once again, make sure you know the dollar
amount so it can be properly credited to the parent who is responsible for
making that payment on a monthly basis.

One credit that parents are often not aware of is for extraordinary medical
expenses. Say, for example, that you have a child who suffers from
diabetes. Make sure you know the dollar amount you pay out of pocket for
their diabetes medication, i.e., any amount that the insurance does not
cover.

Child support can be modified

Keep in mind, child support is ever modifiable. It’s not set in stone once you
agree to a certain award or obligation. Depending on people’s financial
circumstances, child support can be easily changed if you have the
appropriate grounds to seek that relief from the court.