Temecula Child Support Lawyer
Child support is a challenging and may be a highly charged aspect of a divorce or legal separation, or paternity matters. In most cases, both parents want to ensure their children are afforded every right to healthy and financially stable lives, but a mutual financial figure is rarely agreed upon at the start. At Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP our Temecula child support attorneys can help you navigate the difficulties and complexities of child support cases with ease and certainty.
Our attorneys have litigated child support extensively. Our partners have also sat as judge pro tem in the Support Division departments for the superior courts. We know how child support is calculated. Although child support is “simply” a function of inputting financial numbers into a support calculator, the numbers that are input into the system are extremely important and are not straightforward at all. Many times, extensive arguments in court can occur over what factors should be applied to the Guideline calculation.
Riverside County Child Support Cases
In the large majority of divorce or legal separation cases, the court orders one parent to pay the other for supporting the children. This payment is typically made on a monthly basis and the financial figure is determined based on a number of variables, which are all taken into account under the California Child Support Guidelines. The California Guideline child support computer program is found on every judge’s computer in family law courtrooms. The judges use a program called Dissomaster to calculate support.
The factors for child support include:
- The amount of money each parent earns or is capable of earning.
- The number of children the parents have together.
- The amount of additional income each parent receives individually.
- The tax filing status of each individual parent.
- The amount of time each parent spends with their children on a regular basis in the form of a percentage.
- Expenses related to health and life insurance.
- Required union dues.
- Financial support of children from other relationships or marriages.
- Mandatory retirement contributions.
- Necessary job related expenses.
- The cost of regular daycare service.
- Necessary traveling for visitation from one parent to the other.
- Unreimbursed educational and/or medical expenses.
- Special needs related to physical or mental disabilities.
A parent’s income is determined by Family Code 4058, which defines income along the same parameters as how the Internal Revenue Code describes income. However, even certain deductible expenses that are allowed under tax law will be “added back” to the parent’s income for child support. For example, depreciation is one deductible expense that will be added back to income because it is not an actual, out of pocket expense.
Child support payments are usually extended to the appropriate party until children turn 18 or 19, finish high school, leave home, or start supporting themselves. Even after these circumstances arise, parents can mutually agree to support children longer. The court also has the legal right to require parents to continue supporting an adult child who is disabled and not self-supporting.
What is Earning Capacity?
Earning capacity is the attribution of income to a party that is not working to their fullest ability. The family and divorce court in Riverside County has the ability under California law to base child support on the amount of money a parent could earn rather than what they actually earn. Usually, this is a last resort for the family court judge who will provide the party with ample opportunity to become gainfully employed before they begin imputing income based on earning ability. Often, the court will order a party to make a certain number of job contacts each week in order to try and find work. It is likely the court will impute income if the party does not follow that job contacts order.
There are two requirements before the court will impute income to a party. First, there must be a finding that the person has the ability to become gainfully employed. This means that the person has to have the requisite experience and education to work in a particular job. Second, there must be a finding that the person has the opportunity to become gainfully employed. For example, if the person that the court may impute income to is a graphic designer by training, and there are no graphic designer jobs in Riverside County, the court cannot impute income to the graphic designer at the income level of a graphic designer.
Can the Court Order Retroactive Child Support?
Yes. The family court is permitted to make a retroactive order for child support. However, the retroactive order will only date back to the filing of a motion (Request for Order) for child support made by the requesting party. Pursuant to California Family Code 4009, the court is actually permitted to make a retroactive order to the date of filing of the petition, but we have never seen the court make such an order.
When is Child Support Necessary?
Child support can be ordered by the court anytime a decision between two parents is deemed to have implications on a child’s quality of life. This may include a divorce, legal separation, annulment, child custody, establishment of parentage, or domestic violence restraining order. If you believe you have the right to child support, it’s best to contact a family law attorney to walk you through the often complicated process.
Temecula Child Support
Child support is a very serious issue that should be approached directly. Whether you are on the giving or receiving end, our attorneys will work diligently to ensure a fair number is decided upon. We will consider the formula the state of California adopted (cited in Cal. Fam. Code 4055) as a guideline for calculating the amount of child support: [CS= K[HN-(H%)(TN)]. With access to the same program the courts use to determine this figure, we are fully prepared to aggressively work toward your desired outcome. Our team of qualified attorneys is also qualified to handle cases dealing with child support.
At Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, we will consider every small detail of your unique scenario. As respected attorneys in Riverside, our team of professionals will aggressively represent your interests and work to achieve the results you desire.
Wilkinson & Finkbeiner
The Tememcula child support lawyers at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner help because we care. Yes, it is our profession, but it is also our passion. We entered family law for the purpose of assisting parents, spouses, and children in need – and that’s what we continue to do today. For highly skilled, compassionate, and professional attorneys who are both aggressive and supportive, look no further than Wilkinson & Finkbeiner.
For a free confidential consultation, please contact us today. We will discuss your case in further detail and explain the intricacies of the legal system in regard to child support in a way you can understand. Our office is conveniently located in Temecula right off Interstate 15.