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Factors used to deviate from child support guidelines

There are a wide variety of family dynamics that a child in New York will experience. Some children live with both parents who are married. However, some children to live with one parent after that parent has separated through divorce or was never married in the first place. In these situations there is a very good chance that one parent is ordered to pay child support to the other.

Child support is intended to ensure that both parents provide for the financial needs of the child, not just the custodial parent. The amount of the child support is generally determined using the state child support guidelines, which take into account a number of factors starting with each parent's income.

However, the guidelines are just guidelines. Courts can deviate from the amount determined by the guidelines. When doing this, there are a number of factors that the courts may look to.

These include, but are not limited to, the income of the parent and child, the overall health of the child and any special needs of the child. Another factor is the standard of living the child enjoyed when both parents were together. Also, the child support guidelines may be deviated from based on the non-monetary contributions of a parent to the child, if one parent's gross income is significantly higher than the other, if one parent needs education, support paid by one parent for a non-joint child, extraordinary travel costs associated with visitation and other relevant factors.

Many parents in New York are ordered to pay child support. The amount of the child support is generally determined by the child support guidelines, but parties can deviate from the guidelines. The court must analyze a number of factors in order to deviate, but if warranted the court will change the amount. Deviations can be complicated though and are very fact specific. To learn more about deviations from the New York child support guidelines, discussing the matter with an attorney may help.

Source: nycourts.gov, "Child Support Worksheet" accessed on March 21, 2016

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