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The State of Vermont has adopted a Guideline for Child Support and usually the judge or magistrate will use whatever the guideline says child support should be.

However, there are reasons why a magistrate or judge might make a Child Support Order that is higher or lower than the guideline amount. This is called a "deviation" from the guideline.


The factors that might convince the court to deviate from the guideline are:

  1. The child's financial resources (does the child have income or assets of their own?)

  2. The custodial parent's financial resources

  3. The standard of living the child would have if the parents were together

  4. The child's physical and emotional health

  5. The child's educational needs

  6. The non-custodial (paying) parent's financial resources

  7. Inflation

  8. Either parent's needs for education or job training

  9. Travel costs for visits between the child and a parent

  10. Anything else the court finds important


A full description of these factors is here. If any of these factors seems higher than usual in your case, you can ask the judge for an amount of child support that is higher or lower than the guideline.


Related Questions:


TIP: Is there something about your family situation that is unusually expensive? This might include travel costs, medical bills or something else related to the children. If so, ask the judge or magistrate to raise or lower the child support calculated by the guideline!

Common reasons for deviation are:

  • A parent lives far away

  • A parent is in school

  • A child has a learning disability

  • A child has an expensive illness

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