Deviating from Child Support Guidelines in New York Family Court

When do Family Courts in Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland and Bronx Counties deviate from the Child Support Guidelines?

The Child Support Standards Act applies to all child support decisions and sets forth the procedure for calculating child support. However, one issue that our Child Support lawyers recently and successfully dealt with in the Westchester Family Court in Yonkers, New York was whether or not the child support to be awarded to the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child resides primarily) was unjust or inappropriate and in need of adjustment by the Court.

In order for there to be a deviation from the child support awards as determined by the guidelines, the Support Magistrate must make written decisions explaining why the guidelines are unjust under the facts of a particular case. As part of its decision making process, the Family Court must follow a particular procedure which includes:

  1. The guidelines must be followed to determine the amount of child support;
  2. In contemplating a deviation from that amount, the Court must consider the nine statutory factors; and
  3. Create a written decision detailing the reasons and factors for the deviation.

It should be noted that Matrimonial or Divorce cases, the court is mandated by the Equitable Distribution Law to consider and detail it use of the factors in a written decision explaining the reasons for the level of support found by the court.

The nine statutory factors are:

  1. the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parents;
  2. the physical and emotional health and special needs of the child;
  3. the child's standard of living that would have been enjoyed if the household had not dissolved;
  4. tax consequences;
  5. the non-monetary contributions made by the parents towards the child;
  6. educational needs of each parent;
  7. a substantial disparity of gross incomes between the two parents;
  8. the needs and financial obligations that the non-custodial parent has for other children;
  9. extraordinary visitation expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent that reduce the expenses of the custodial parent.

Additionally, the court may consider any other factor it finds relevent to the specific case.

Get the Assistance of an Experienced Child Support Attorney

Since it is clear the calculating the appropriate amount of child support is not an easy endeavor and may be affected by a number of different factors, it is very important that you have the help of a skilled and knowledgeable Family Law and Divorce Lawyer who knows what must be done to protect your rights and finacial security. If you are considering or have a pending child support or divorce action, do not hesitate to contact the family law and divorce attorneys of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP. We will go over the various issues in your case and develop a plan that suits your specific needs. As we regularly represent clients in the family courts of Westchester (including White Plains, NY, New Rochelle, NY and Yonkers, NY), Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange and Bronx Counties, we are readily available to represent you.