Many people have expectations going into a child support case. However, it’s common for both parties to come out at the end surprised and even unhappy with the amount stated in the order. While many people perceive child support to be a cut and dried formula, the reality is that it doesn’t always work out that way. Understanding when and how child support orders may deviate from the guidelines is important.

Just like with most other things under the jurisdiction of the family law system, there are various aspects of a child support determination that are open to interpretation. In most cases, the initial child support calculation given through the “formula” is really just a place to start, and either party may request a deviation from that amount in either an upward or a downward direction.

Other factors that may come into the equation include childcare costs, extraordinary expenses related to the care of the child, other income such as bonuses or lottery winnings and health insurance costs. In some cases, the custody order and how the visitation schedule is set up may also be grounds for a modification in the child support amount.

When you are entering into a child support case, it is crucial to understand what all goes into the calculations and how any special circumstances could affect the anticipated obligation. At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we have experience dealing with all kinds of child support cases and can help you get a better understanding of what to expect from your situation and how to prepare moving forward.