The calculation of child support can be an important issue in resolving a divorce or custody case. Parties can often get into contentious disputes in terms of child support calculations.
If parties litigate a case, they often put the case in the hands of a judge to make a determination about child support. But in collaborative practice, the parties attempt to work together to make an agreement.
To calculate child support, it is critical to look at the laws in your state in terms of the child support formula. In most states, however, the income of the parties is a critically important factor.
In Missouri, for example, the courts use the Form 14 and look first at the gross income of the parties. To come to a determination about the gross income of the parties, it can be important for parties to look at tax returns, W2s, pay stubs and other evidence as to income.
In the collaborative process, the parties work together to exchange this type of information. The financial neutral can be key in terms of looking at this information.
Other issues can often come into play as well, including the cost of health insurance and daycare. The cost of extracurricular and educational expenses can be important. Further, the visitation schedule can be key as well.
Instead of engaging in formal discovery and litigating these issues, the collaborative process can help parties reach an amicable resolution through a cooperate process.