The Child Support Guidelines are just that – Guidelines. They are guidelines for judges, attorneys and parties to determine what might be a fair amount of child support. However, there are instances where a deviation from the guidelines makes sense in light of the situation of the family. If you, the attorney or the judge deviates from the guidelines, they are required to justify the reasoning.
A deviation from the guidelines maybe warranted if one or more of the following are met:
- One or more of the children has special needs
- One or more of the children or parent has extraordinary medical, health insurance, child care costs or other expenses
- Application of the Guidelines leaves one of the parents without the ability to support themselves
- The payor is in prison
- Application of the Guidelines would result in a wide disparity in the standard of living of the parents
- A parent has extraordinary travel or other expenses related to parenting
- A parent provides less than 1/3 of the parenting time
- Application of the Guidelines would not be in the best interest of the child
- The combined income of the parties exceed $250,000
If any of those criteria are met, then a deviation from the guidelines might be justified. Talk to your attorney to discuss the particulars of your case to see if a deviation would make sense.