We approach these cases by collecting evidence that shows the child was accustomed to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. We then present evidence to substantiate our argument that it is within the child’s best interests to maintain his or her current lifestyle, even after the divorce.
For example, a child may take voice lessons, piano lessons, or participate in expensive extracurricular activities. The discontinuation of these activities due to one parent’s lack of financial resources following a divorce may cause a dramatic disruption in the child’s routine and may affect his or her overall well-being. We would argue that this presents a proper situation for deviation from the child support guidelines.
Generally, there are many reasons why a deviation from the guidelines may be appropriate:
- Parents’ income surpasses the amount contemplated by the guidelines
- Child has special needs
- Former spouse or child lives in another state where the cost of living renders the guidelines’ support amount inappropriate