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Documenting "child's actual needs" with reference to her prior standard of living

Clarence, NY |

What is the best way to document "child's actual needs" with "reference to her prior standard of living" in an upward support modification case that deviates from the basic support standards? For purposes of documenting her actual needs and placing a dollar value on her standard of living, do I refer to expenses incurred prior to household dissolution, and can I refer to current expenses? How do I document her expenses and standard of living? Receipts (often unavailable)? Letters from instructors and therapists documenting dates of attendance or cost? Photographic evidence (e.g. of child at events she enjoyed)? Best way to present information: binder with all receipts, letters, photos?

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Attorney answers 4


Include everything you have or can get that will show the court what her needs are now. Her prior "standard of living" isn't the same as her needs, but her needs may include aspects of her prior standard of living because she has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and maintaining that lifestyle is in her best interests--if it is affordable. Usually, when a family splits into two separate households, it is not financially possible to maintain the same standard of living. It is still a goal, but rarely a reality. Good luck!

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You should really be doing this with an attorney. However, if you are doing this yourself, outside of your own testimony you should demonstrate through reciepts and references what the child's standard of living is.

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I am faced with the task of "proving" the child's standard of living and current actual needs. I want to do the work of gathering/organizing all the necessary evidence so all the cards are filed neatly in place to back up what I claim her expenses were/are. I appreciate any comments or suggestions you may have on the best way to do this. I am expecting major opposition; he aggressively wants to minimize his child support obligation, while I maintain that he can afford to maintain the standard of living he provided her prior to household dissolution. We were not married, but lived together and ran a business together as if we were. Left him suddenly, unexpectedly for safety reasons.


Receipts, paid bills and contracts.

Good luck.


Many of these things are not needs of the child. They are a product of your two parent home that the child is no longer enjoying.

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