For many parents going through a divorce, child support is a significant concern. Raising children is expensive, and child support is often an essential financial resource for both you and your kids. How do you know what you will have to pay or may receive?
Vermont’s child support guidelines
Like many states, Vermont uses child support guidelines. These guidelines use a formula that considers each parents’ income and the amount of time the children are with each parent. If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will base that parent’s income on their potential earnings rather than what they are really making.
In most cases, a court will order child support in the amount suggested by the child support guidelines.
Deviations from the guidelines
In some cases however, the amount of child support suggested by the guidelines may be unfair or inappropriate in a particular situation. A parent who believes the amount suggested by the guidelines is unfair can request a hearing. In what’s called a deviation here, the parent must prove that the guideline payment is unfair.
Factors considered by the court in this hearing include:
- The financial resources of each parent
- The physical and emotional needs of their child
- Any unusual or extraordinary educational or travel expenses that are needed
The parties can also agree to deviate from the child support guidelines, but that agreement may still need to be approved by the court.
Child support proceedings
Considering the importance of meeting your children’s financial needs, parent can greatly benefit from working with a legal advisor. A family law attorney can help analyze your child support situation and whether the guidelines are be appropriate.