Child Support for Independently Wealthy Minor Children

Suppose there is a divorce in a wealthy family, in which the minor children have enormous amounts of money, given or bequeathed to them by wealthy relatives. I’ve seen it claimed that all this money is ignored for purposes of deciding child support obligations for the non-custodial parent.

Is this correct?

I’m familiar with child support rules in Illinois, and, to a lesser extent Ohio. Both states have rules that would not take the child’s wealth into account in the standard calculation. Illinois–and I think Ohio–would allow for a “downward deviation” if the standard formula produces an unreasonable result or a windfall for the child. Such downward deviations are in the court’s discretion, and so are not predictable in the way the basic support rules are. However, a child’s independent wealth, especially if the parent owing support had little income, sounds like a plausible basis for a downward deviation. Other states might handle this differently, but neither Illinois not Ohio are unusual in their handling of child support.

Also depends on the rules. Presumably the child gets the money in trust; the rules about any parent withdrawing certain amounts for reasonable support of the child would likely apply. If the supporting parents can’t access too much money, then maybe they too must support the child.