A parent facing child support obligations may be going through extreme financial hardship. In such cases, the court may allow for a hardship deduction to the parent’s net disposable income to account for the parent’s financial hardship. This is an instance when the court may exercise its discretion in ordering child support.
In order for the court to consider hardship deduction, the extreme financial hardship experienced by the parent must be caused by (1) extraordinary health expenses, (2) uninsured catastrophic loss or (3) for support of children from other marriages or relationships.
In case of extraordinary health expenses, the parent must be financially responsible for paying the health expenses.
A hardship deduction for the support of children from other marriages may still be deducted after the court has already deducted for extraordinary health expenses or uninsured catastrophic loss.
The hardship deduction is not available automatically when the parent is responsible for the support of other children; rather, it is limited to unusual situations or when the reasonable minimum living expenses are unusually high in relation to the family’s income.
On The Record
Lastly, the court must state it’s reasons for permitting the hardship deduction on the record and in writing. In this writing, the court must also state the underlying circumstances warranting the deduction and the amount of the deduction. If possible, the court should also identify the duration of the hardship deduction.