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How child support calculations can vary for affluent parents

Parents from all backgrounds are expected to contribute to their children’s well-being. This can involve physical and emotional support through visitation and custody, but it also includes financial contributions through child support.

Broadly speaking, courts will approach child support cases in the same way, whether you have a lot of money or not. They will calculate an amount based on a parent’s capabilities and the needs of the child, but there are some specific considerations that could be made in cases when one or both parents are affluent.

As noted in this Huffington Post article, courts will often consider:

  1. What a child “needs”: All children need basics like food, clothing and shelter. However, when a child was raised in a wealthy family, he or she may have “needs” that others do not. This could include private school tuition, vacations, athletic training as well as bigger budgets for clothing and social obligations. While these are not essentials for other families, they can be necessary for some children to maintain their lifestyle.
  2. Other financial contributions from a paying parent: Affluent parents don’t just contribute to their child’s life through child support payments. There can be other financial contributions to consider, like car payments, college payments and sophisticated medical care. These contributions could influence the support a judge awards.
  3. Trusts in place of support: In some cases, paying huge sums of money every month because that’s what child support guidelines dictate may not be necessary. At a certain point, it could be wiser to instead put some of the money in a trust fund to support a child in the long run.

These are all things that may be considered when wealthy parents are working to figure out child support calculations. In the end, it is essential that the child’s best interests are protected and prioritized, whether a parent makes $3 million a year or $30,000.

Considering how much can be at stake when it comes to the financial support of a child, it is often best for parents to have the guidance of an attorney experienced in resolving complex child support matters. With legal representation, parents can ensure support payments are fair and a child’s needs are truly being met.

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