Child support is calculated according to a statutory formula, but it can be more complicated than simply plugging in numbers. The formula can quickly become confusing when both parents are wage earners, or when one parent is self-employed or owns a business. Some individuals may also try to hide assets in order to pay less in child support or alimony or to take advantage of the other in the property settlement. Finally, even though child support is established according to statutory guidelines, the judge has the authority to deviate from these guidelines in appropriate cases. Having an attorney on your side can help make sure you are fairly represented throughout the process and that neither you nor your children are taken advantage of.