In a typical divorce case, the child support awarded from one parent to the other is likely to follow child support guidelines. While child support is meant generally to cover the basic necessities of the child, there are times in which the court will award what’s called “good fortune” support. Good fortune child support refers to support given by one high earning parent in excess of the amount specified by child support guidelines, or when the child support guidelines result in an award of child support that is higher than what is typical. Because the Child Support Guidelines are a mathematical formula, the larger the disparity in the parent’s income, means that the higher earning parent will have a higher percentage of financial responsibility for the child.

In what instances is good fortune child support awarded?

A good fortune award considers the lifestyles of both parents of a child and any activities that warrant a higher amount of child support. One example expense covered by good fortune support is private education.

The presumption of a good fortune child support award is that the support should more closely represent the funds that would’ve been spent on the child or children if the parents had remained married. Child support awards are meant to maintain a “standard of living” for a child from pre- to post-divorce conditions. In light of this goal, good fortune support makes sense for high income families as maintenance of the “standard of living” requires a greater award.

In some cases of good fortune awards, the court opts to establish a “good fortune trust” in which the difference between the award and the child’s need is put into a trust for post-minority use. Since good fortune awards are made in the interest of the child alone, the establishment of a good fortune trust is beneficial as it safeguards their future until they come of age.

One example of good fortune child support in practice is related to the divorce of Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline. To help maintain the lifestyle of their two children, Spears reportedly pays $20,000 to Federline each month in addition to helping cover the costs of their tuition and other activities.

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