A Comparison of Child Support Calculators

Before you use another child support calculator, read this! If you're basing important decisions on the calculations performed by other calculators, you may want to reconsider. Decisions such as dragging your case back into the court room, or reaching an ammicable agreement with the other parent on child support should be based on sound information and calculations. We set out to put a few popular child support calculators to the test. We can conclude that some of the child support calculators out there may leave you with the short end of the stick.

We frequently receive questions from our customers asking why our calculations differ from those obtained using other free websites. Customers are confused and conflicted about which tool is correct. Simply put, most calculators out there are wrong! Some of these calculators may have been somewhat correct many years ago, but they have fallen out of date and are technically no longer supported. In fact, the calculations used by one website are nearly a decade out of date! As a result, the calculations can be terribly misleading.

We set out to test a few of the popular calculators used. We defined a test case as follows:

    Custodial Parent = $4000 per month gross
    Non-custodial Parent = $6000 per month gross
    Combined Monthly Gross Income = $10000
    Custodial Parent = 40% of combined income
    Non-custodial Parent = 60% of combined income
    3 year old
    10 year old
Other Details:
    No other financial factors have been considered.  We wanted to keep it simple.

Our findings:

AllLaw.com - $1006
The first thing to note about the alllaw.com calculator is the child age brackets are incorrect. Current Kansas guidelines prescribe 3 categories (0-5, 6-11, 12-18). Since Kansas child support is our forte, we know right off the bat that the calculations used on this website date back to at least 2007. The 2008 guidelines changed the age brackets to those currently used. Entering our test case into this calculator, resulted in a child support amount of $1006.

Divorcehq.com - $1155
The age brackets in this tool are effectively hidden from the user's view. This tool may or may not handle the age brackets correctly. Regardless, the final child support amount is still not correct. Child support is calculated at $1155 using this calculator.

Childsupporthq.com - $1155
The calculation algorithm used on this website is most likely the same as that used at divorcehq.com. Calculation results in the same, incorrect child support amount of $1155.

Kansas Legal Services – cannot process
For the sample case, the child support tool offered on this website cannot be used. The combined annual income is greater than $50,000. The tool is so painfully and needlessly tedious, its difficult to use. You might expect to spend 20 minutes calculating child support with this tool answering lots of needless questions. While you might assume that a tool provided on such an official website would yield correct results, right? Think again. For some cases we tested, this tool will not calculate the correct child support amount and even provides you with an outdated form to take to court.

eFamilyTools - $1188
eFamilyTools calculated a different number from all other calculators. But, we won’t expect you to just trust us. Below we’ll provide the proof that our number is correct. Remember that guidelines and calculations change periodically (at least annually) and calculations must be updated.

Kansas Child Support Guidelines Proof
Here we'll step you through the child support calculation for our test case. First, download the current Kansas Child Support Guidelines. Now turn to page 39, which are the child support tables. We are looking at a 2-child family. The combined gross monthly income for the family is:

$4000 + $6000 = $10000

So, we then look up the child support for each child at the $10000 income level.

3 year old = $921
10 year old =   $1059
Total = $1980

The next step is very simple. Multiply the non-custodial parent’s percentage of the combined family income by the combined child support amount of $1980.

$1980 x 60% = $1188.

Looking at the results calculated by all the calculators above, the only one that calculates $1188 is eFamilyTools.com. In fact, nearly all of the child support calculators out there we have tested over the years have some type of miscalculation or glitch. They simply cannot be trusted.

The only calculator of the bunch that accurately calculates child support is eFamilyTools.com. We provide a quick and easy “estimator,” which is actually much more advanced than any other tool mentioned above. We also offer a fully comprehensive calculator to take into consideration more advanced features such as tax adjustments, child care payments, interstate pay differentials, etc. When you’re weighing the decision to go to court, don’t make that decision based on faulty information. Choose your child support calculator carefully!

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