Should we just follow the formulas as if we were going to court?


Some people say, “Let’s just follow the formulas” or “Let’s do what other people do.” This may not be as straightforward as it seems. In court, lawyers may offer reasons to depart from the formulas, and judges may vary in how they apply them.

For assets and debts, deciding what belongs to one person vs. both can be complicated.

Common challenges in support include estimated income, disability, income caps, and credit for previous support paid.

Some clients dislike the standard child support formula if both parents work fulltime, have adequate income, and equally share parenting duties. On the other hand, some clients feel that a more equalized child support approach may not be adequate to cover day-to-day expenses.

While referencing formulas, Collaborative Divorce, with the help of skilled professionals, aims to help clients decide what works best for them.

Courts routinely depart from formulas too, but in ways that are difficult to predict, may not feel fair, and may not be a good fit for the family’s situation.