Family Law Software automatically calculates child support step-downs.
You can see this on the Enter Data screen for Child Support, in the section near the bottom of the screen entitled “Support to Use in ….”
The step-down shows what will child support be when the oldest child ages out, then the next-oldest, and so on.
This gives a quick and automatic estimate of what child support will be at those times.
One thing to be aware of, however, is that this estimate is not exact.
The actual child support amount that will apply at that future date may well be different from the step-down estimate.
Here are some reasons for that:
- Incomes. The parties’ incomes may well have diverged significantly from what they are at this moment. That would result in a different child support amount.
- Child Care Expense: If there is child care expense, it might be lower by the time of the step-down. We are calculating all the step-down amount by holding everything constant except for the number of children and tax exemptions.
- Other deductions. Other deductions, including medical costs, health insurance costs, and so on, may have declined (or increased) since the divorce.
- Legislation. The child support rules may have changed in the interim.
The step-down estimate is a reasonable guess as of this moment in time of what child support will be in the future, but it is good to be aware that it is only an estimate, and that it assumes that the future incomes and expenses will be unchanged from the present.