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Child Support, Spousal Support and Paternity

Child Support

After child custody is set, then the next area of concern is the financial support for the children. Child support is determined by a guideline formula known as California Child Support Guidelines. The guideline is a formula that is fairly complicated and I use a computer program to create the guideline child support amount. Parents need to know that the Child Support amount is controlled by these guidelines and the inputs are fairly straight forward. Parents sometimes also need advice about whether the amount provided by the guidelines should be adjusted up or down, depending on special circumstances. I have litigated high asset cases concerning child support and lower end support cases.

The California Child Support Guidelines consider the incomes of both parents, the number of children involved, the time the children spend with each parent, and such additional considerations as day care and health insurance expenses. In most cases, there is no deviation from the guideline amount. There are, however, certain circumstances when the amount of child support might be adjusted up or down, depending on the facts of the individual case: special needs of the child, a parent’s financial responsibility for other children, or health or medical issues on the part of the parent or child. I can advise you whether your case would require an upwards or downwards adjustment in child support payments.

Child support in paternity cases is also determined under the guidelines

Child Support in Paternity cases are also determined by applying the California Child Support Guidelines. Once Paternity is established, the father’s support calculation is determined by the same guideline as in divorce cases and based on the same inputs.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

After Child Custody, this is the area that most clients are concerned about when divorcing. If you are the party that will receive support, then you want to know how much you will receive and if you are paying support then you want to know how much and for how long. I have experience litigating these issues and know how to present the information to the Court to ensure that the Support Order is fair and reasonable.

Support is the payment by one divorcing spouse to the other of an amount sufficient to maintain the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Spousal support is based on the idea that during marriage, there is generally one person who earns more income then the other person. The parties generally have different earning power and generally, one party will need financial support, at least for a few years.

There are a number of factors that the Court must consider when determining spousal support. Unlike child support, there is no set formula for spousal support. I can provide you with a dependable assessment of your rights or obligations in a divorce where alimony is likely to be a substantial issue.

Our experience with the development and presentation of evidence on alimony issues can represent an important advantage in negotiating spousal support agreements or in convincing a judge of your position at a contested hearing. Many of my clients are surprised to hear that the misconduct of one spouse during the marriage is not typically a factor in the determination of alimony, we support your position through analysis of such factors as the following:

  • Length of the marriage

  • Proof of the established standard of living during the marriage

  • Contributions of each spouse not only to household expenses, but also to the comfort of the home and the career development of the more affluent spouse

  • Education and work history of each spouse.

  • Cost and length of time necessary to bring the less affluent spouse to a position of financial self-sufficiency

  • Age, physical health, intellectual capacity, and emotional stability of the spouses

  • Children’s issues that might require the primary custodial parent to stay at home rather than work full-time elsewhere

If you have a more complex case, then I will work with the best forensic experts in the area to present specialized opinions as to any of these factors to support your case. The right expert has often times won my clients larger awards then they ever thought possible.

Your objective will drive the advice and evidence we can provide you and the Court. If you need an order of permanent spousal support, to modify or enforce the terms of an existing alimony arrangement, or limit your exposure to alimony payments, I can advise and represent you.