Family law and divorce proceedings can be complicated by many issues, but at their core the courts that handle these legal issues seek to protect the best interests of the children who will be affected by their decisions. That means that when it comes to matters of child custody and support, courts will look at many factors relevant to the parties and their children to make reasonable decisions. This post will address some of the factors that may be evaluated when courts consider requests for child support in general, but as with all legal matters readers should not use this post as a basis for any legal action regarding their own child support matters.

In New York a set of statutorily established guidelines provide a basic framework for how much child support a parent should be required to pay for the benefit of their child. However, it is possible for courts to allow for deviations from those guidelines if individual cases warrant such action. For example, if a child has special needs that require more financial support from a paying parent than is allowed through the guidelines, a court may raise the payments the parent is required to pay to accommodate the child’s needs.

Also, a court can investigate the financial resources of the child’s parents. If the child’s custodial parent is more financially solvent than their noncustodial parent then the custodial parent may be required to carry a larger share of the child rearing costs. The child’s standard of living, the parents’ non-financial contributions to the child’s life and other factors can be weighed when deciding how much child support should be paid.

Children should not be disadvantaged when their parents go through a divorce or separate. When child support matters are under consideration, many factors will be considered to ensure that the child has what they need to live and satisfy their best interests.