Determining who supports a child after a divorce – and how much that support entails – is a complex legal process. An expert Tustin child support attorney can help walk you through the process and ensure your child’s needs are met.
A child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of 18 years and has graduated from high school, or the age of 19, has become emancipated, or until further order of the Court, whichever occurs first.
Child support is determined by applying the mandated statewide guideline, which provides for a formula that determines the child support amount in each case. The formula factors in each parent’s net disposable income, the number of minor children of the marriage, the parental timeshare, and any appropriate deductions and/or hardships. Pursuant to Family Code section 4059, the annual net disposable income of each parent shall be computed by applying specific deductions to arrive at net annual disposable income and dividing by 12 to obtain the monthly figure. Gross income includes, but is not limited to, commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment and disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a third person that is not a party to the order at issue. Family Code section 4058(a)(1).
A court of law may deviate from “guideline” child support, but this is rare. When done, the court must specifically articulate the reasons for deviating from the “guideline” amount and state how the deviation supports the best interests of the child.
Child support orders may be modified at any time before termination of the order when circumstances change. However, if the parties stipulate to a child support order for less than “guideline” amount, no change of circumstances is required. Child support cannot be made nonmodifiable by agreement of the parties.
Contact our office today for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your case with a well-respected Tustin child support attorney.