A rich parent doesn't always make for a happy childhood. Sometimes, a mother's or father's wealth or earning potential can cause complications in a divorce. Since the split of parents is already a traumatizing experience, any dispute over child support or custody can be especially painful.
Family courts may think twice before assigning an amount of alimony or child support that seems excessive even if the payor has the resources to spare. Income-share models were designed with the best interests of the child in mind, but a different approach in Florida has become helpful in addressing excessive payments.
The 1998 case Finley v. Scott set a precedent for a "good fortune trust," which has become a byword in family courts over two decades in the Sunshine State. A court may calculate the proportion of child support due under normal guidelines as well as the reasonable requirements of the child. The difference may be deposited in a trust for the child's post-majority expenses.
The concept behind good fortune child support is to simulate the conditions that a child would experience if a couple had not divorced. Good-fortune trusts are similar to savings accounts and investments for college expenses that many nuclear families create, according to one Florida judge.
Any parent going through a divorce and looking to form the right child support arrangement is well-advised to consider legal representation. An attorney can help represent a parent's interests in child custody, support and other issues arising from one of life's more challenging episodes.