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Why might a court to deviate from the state's support guidelines?

New York has established a set of guidelines that courts use in order to decide how much child support kids should receive when their parents separate or go through a divorce. However, as with all legal matters, it is impossible to fit all support cases into the parameters suggested by the guidelines. Certain factors may allow courts to deviate from the guidelines and to create more tailored child support plans for families.

For example, one factor that may allow a judge to deviate from the New York child support guidelines is the financial limitations of a parent. If a parent simply cannot pay the amount of money that the guidelines stipulate based on the number of children that they have, then they may have their obligation set at a lower amount.

Also, a court may consider if a parent is responsible for other children, such as those from prior relationships. If a parent has other children who depend upon their income and those obligations may prevent them from paying the full guidelines-suggested amount to their children who are subject to the child support order, a court may reduce the parent's financial obligation.

Other factors, such as the standard of living the children have grown to expect and the non-financial offerings that the parents make to their kids' lives, can be considered when making changes to the state's support guidelines. To receive case-specific guidance on a particular child support question, our readers may want to consult with family law attorneys in their communities.

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