Special and Extraordinary Expenses in Child Support

Apr 23, 2021 Child Support

In California, divorcing parents’ obligations for complying with child support will be primarily guided by the state’s child support guidelines. Usually, the amount a parent will be expected to pay will depend on what the parent earns and what the child needs to maintain their lifestyle. The state uses a formula to calculate child support, and that figure is then settled upon by the divorcing parents. 

However, issues arise when the child or parents have what’s referred to as extraordinary income or expenses. When parents are extremely high-income earners, or when children have extraordinary expenses such as college tuition or medical expenses, the process of calculating child support payments will be somewhat different. If you’re seeking guidance on dealing with these special circumstances, an Irvine child support lawyer can help.

What Are Special and Extraordinary Expenses?

Special and extraordinary expenses are those which fall outside of the typical expenses necessary to maintain a child and meet their basic daily needs. This includes costs such as food, clothing, health insurance, routine medical and dental care and child-related transportation expenses. Costs that would fall outside of this parameter would be considered special or extraordinary under Texas law, and those expenses might include:

  • Treatment for chronic illness or disease
  • Mental health or psychological counseling
  • Private school education
  • Extracurricular school activities
  • Tutoring
  • Travel-intensive sports and other activities

Just as the calculation of these special costs would be considered to benefit the child, they would also be considered to unburden the parent. For example, if the parent were dealing with illness and these expenses were negatively impacting them, a court would consider that and reduce the total cost of child support for the parent.

Deal With These Expenses With Your Irvine Child Support Lawyer

Ultimately, the best way to deal with special and extraordinary expenses in child support payments is by negotiating the terms out of court. Allowing a court to get involved can be a huge risk for the party that stands to lose the most. Separating and divorcing parents have a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating agreements that work for the whole family. Once the parties have made a decision and drafted their proposed agreement, it’s rare for the court to get involved and suggest some other arrangement that might work better. 

Having an experienced Irvine child support lawyer on your side can help you navigate the complexity of special and extraordinary circumstances. Contact our office today to learn more.