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Child Support Bullet Guide (Part 4): Discretionary Matters and Child Support Deviations

Western Suffolk County Child Custody Understanding the various aspects of child support and divorce law can be complicated. As an attorney and mediator, Mr. Shapiro does everything he can to guide his clients through these difficult experiences. This includes creating guides and articles for people to use when they want to learn more about family law processes.

This bullet point guide on child support pulls together information and insights from various longer articles on this website. There are various sections to this guide, and this one focuses on child support deviations, and discretionary matters in this area of family law.

You may find the following information helpful if you want to learn about how the court uses its discretion to determine when deviations from the guideline amounts of child support may be a good idea.

How Does the Court Apply Discretion in Child Support?

In cases of family law, the courts will often have guidelines and legislation to guide them in making various decisions. When it comes to child and spousal support, it sometimes feels as though the outcome of a case depend entirely on how the judge might feel about a party and their family. Working alongside a reputable divorce attorney or family lawyer can help you to feel more confident in your case. However, it’s also useful to know what kind of discretion the judges or support magistrates can use in making legal decisions.

  • The judge or magistrate in New York Family or Supreme court can decide what the results of a legal proceeding should be. However, there are guidelines and information in place that help the courts to make these decisions. For instance, family law offers guidelines to suggest how much child support should be awarded to a parent based on the income of the parents, and various other factors.
  • Court discretion in the case of child support means that the court may sometimes deviate from the set amounts suggested for child support cases. A family lawyer like Mr. Darren Shapiro can also ask a judge to deviate from the guideline amounts in a case, based on certain circumstances.
  • If the situation in a specific case indicates that a deviation from standard guidelines of child support is necessary in caring for a child, the court may choose to deviate. Courts often attempt to reduce the long-term emotional hardship of a child during a divorce case. When making decisions about child support, the courts may consider the lifestyle that the child would have enjoyed should the parents not have separated.
  • When deciding how much child support to award, the courts can also consider the needs of a mother or father to obtain education and improve their earning potential. In this case, when education is necessary, a deviation from standard support amounts may be necessary.
Deviations in Child Support

As Mr. Shapiro reminds his clients, there are circumstances in which the court or support magistrate might deviate from guidelines suggested. If the total income for one party is much lower than it is for the other, this may be a reason for deviation. The court may also deviate if the child requires additional medical support or extraordinary costs for visitation.

  • In some cases, in deciding how much child support is appropriate the court can use a “Catch all” provision that allows the court to deviate from the guidelines for any reason they consider relevant and appropriate.
  • New York case law helps to determine reasons which may be appropriate for deviating from the standard guidelines. Things like shared custody may not be enough alone to allow for deviation from guidelines for typical support amounts.
  • Parties dealing with a case of child support can work with a family law attorney to request a change to the typical amounts of child support. There are also cases wherein a couple can come to an agreement on what they consider to be fair. During mediation or negotiation sessions, they can suggest amounts that they feel are “fair”. However, the courts will always need to sign off on the suggestions made by those couples.
Deviations from the Norm in Child Support

When the New York court chooses to stray away from the norm in child support amounts, this is often the result of them considering various factors, from the earning potential of the parent to their health. The court will need to ensure that the order is in the best interests of the child, but that it doesn’t cause any unfair hardship to the parents involved.

  • Courts have the option to deviate from guidelines provided for child support when they consider it’s fair and reasonable to do so. Mr. Shapiro will always do his best to support his clients whether they are fighting for or against a deviation on child support amounts.
  • If someone going through a case for divorce or child support isn’t happy with the amount suggested by the court, it is sometimes possible to request an alteration. This demands the support of the right family law attorney, like Mr. Shapiro. It’s also possible to argue that the court should not deviate from guideline amounts.
  • Providing the right order for child support may require the court to request information about the financial background of each parent. This helps the court to deliver the right order, without unnecessary hardship to either party.

If you have questions or concerns about the issues raised above, please reach out to schedule your free consultation of thirty minutes with MR. Darren M. Shapiro. You can contact Mr. Shapiro using the form on this website or connect with us over the phone.

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