Child Support and Spousal Support

Child support in California is most often determined by application of California child support guidelines that take into account the amount of time that a child spends with each parent their income or earning capacity.  Family Code §  4053.   These guidelines are not the simplest calculations however, and there is room for adjustment in many cases based on specialized circumstances.  We can help our clients understand these special circumstances and other child support challenges that include:

  • Self-employment:   When one parent is self-employed, it can be difficult to ascertain his or her actual income. Whether deliberately or not, a self-employed parent will often underreport actual income or exaggerate expenses.  Determination of true cash flow in these situation is imperative to a good support award.
  • Special-needs children:  Children with physical disabilities, mental disabilities and other special needs can cost their parents more money than children who are free from these limitations. The court will often alter child support recommendations to reflect these extra costs.
  • Child visitation and support:  It is unfortunately common for a noncustodial parent to seek for more visitation time in an attempt to minimize child support obligations.  We determine custody first, then support.
  • Modifications: In many cases, circumstances change long after initial divorce decrees have been finalized, or one of the parties is not living up to the agreement.  We can help clients enforce support awards, or petition the court for modifications as necessary.

We are here to help make the entire process of working out the child support details easier for you. We will walk you through every stage of the process and help you get the best results possible.

Under California law, both men and women going through divorce may be entitled to Spousal Support, depending upon their financial and other circumstances.   Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, is one aspect of divorce that will normally require an attorney’s help.   It can be awarded to one spouse for a short period of time, long-term, or to fulfill a specific purpose.   Many, many factors go into determining the amount of support payable by one party to another, and a skilled practitioner can help you gain the advantage in this area.

Many factors are considered by the courts when determining how much, if any, spousal support to be awarded in a divorce.

  • The health and age of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s needs based on their standards of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s separate property, assets, and financial obligations
  • Whether one spouse helped the other obtain a degree, a career, or a professional license
  • The supported spouse’s ability to care for the children while working
  • The balance of hardship between the spouses
  • Whether the supported spouse’s earning capacity is impaired because of extended periods of unemployment while caring for the home or children.

Your child and spousal support orders can have widespread implications upon your life after divorce, so it is important to have an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf.   If you need to explore support issues, be sure to contact our office for an in-depth consultation on these matters before allowing the other party to get their order.  Know your rights, and have a highly trained and experienced attorney working for you.

Next Topic >>> Paternity Establishment