In addition to the three deviation factors I previously wrote about, the Court will consider a number of other issues when deciding whether or not to deviate from the guidelines in entering a child support order. The next factor that a Court can take into consideration is the ages of the children. If the children's ages have an impact on their need for support, the Court can modify the support order accordingly.
Next, the Court can take into account the relative assets and liabilities of the parties. If the support recipient has a massive amount of assets, there may be a decreased need for support and thus, the Court can decrease the obligor's support order. Conversely, if the payor has significant assets, his or her order may be increased despite the fact that those assets do not necessarily have any impact on the payor's net monthly income.
Third, the Court may consider medical expenses not covered by insurance. If one party is paying significant medical expenses, for whatever reason, the Court will consider this outlay of funds. As with the other deviations, if the obligor is paying for his or her own medical expenses out of pocket, the Court has the option to decrease his or her monthly support payment and vice versa.
Finally, the Court will look at the standard of living of the parties and the children. Although the main function of child support is to ensure that both parents fulfill their duty to provide for day-to-day care, a home, schooling, food, clothing, and medical care for the child, the Court also wants to sure that the child enjoys a similar quality of life when at either parent's home. Therefore, the Court is permitted to evaluate the standard of living that the parties and children enjoy when determining whether or not to deviate from the support guidelines.
Along with the seven factors that I have discussed in these three posts, the Court can also consider any other relevant and appropriate factors, including the best interest of the children when crafting a support order. Keep these factors in mind when going through your support case and contact our Pittsburgh family law office, Gusty A. E. Sunseri & Associates, for an experienced family law attorney to help guide you safely through the process.