If you are a parent and you divorce, the parent the child lives with often receives money (child support) from the parent no longer living with the child. Unlike alimony, which is paid to maintain an ex-spouse's lifestyle, child support pays for the child's physical, emotional, and educational needs. A child support lawyer can help parents negotiate and calculate child support, either by agreement or in court. While national guidelines to calculate child support amounts exist, you or the judge may choose to calculate the amount based on your income and the child's needs. A child support lawyer can be useful during negotiations to help objectively determine the most appropriate amount of child support for your situation.