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Why would a judge deviate from the state guidelines?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Family Law |

When the judge considers your child support case, you will need to present your financial documents. Additionally, you will probably impress them if you can give a tentative budget close to the state child support guidelines.

Several situations can cause the court to deviate below or above the state guidelines.

You can afford more

Suppose you make a lot of money. You could also have other significant assets. Perhaps you receive another type of compensation, such as employer-provided housing. In these situations, the judge might order that you pay more than the state child support guidelines.

The guideline is more than necessary

On the other hand, you may benefit if you make enough money that sticking to the guideline is significantly more than what is necessary to pay for your child’s expenses. In this case, a judge might rule that you pay less than the standard guideline.

You cannot pay

If you have other expenses, such as student loan payments, that make the standard amount impossible for you, the judge may rule that you pay less than the standard. Additionally, suppose you lose your job and cannot afford your set child support amount. In that case, you can return to court to have your current circumstances examined and potentially receive a lower payment.

Your child has special needs

Medical, educational or psychological abnormalities may require that you pay more in child support. Additionally, if there is a sport or talent that your child wishes to pursue, a judge may order that you contribute extra funds for this.

Before a judge rules on your case, check your state’s guidelines for child support. Then, see if you fit any of the above criteria to avoid surprises when the judge decides on an amount.