How Child Support And Spousal Support Payments Are Calculated

Child support and spousal support are necessary financial safety nets after divorce. Even though they serve an important purpose, however, most adults are understandably frustrated about remaining financially tied to a former spouse or co-parent.

The good news for both sides is that support awards are based off of formulas and very practical considerations. In other words, spousal support and child support are neither political nor personal.

Calculating Child Support In California

Before child support can be calculated, it is usually necessary for courts to first make decisions about child custody. Child support is generally paid by the non-custodial parent, meaning the parent who does not have primary custody. If you and your ex-spouse will be sharing custody equally, earn similar incomes and have similar assets, child support may not be necessary.

If these factors are not in place, however, California courts will determine child support payments in light of:

  • How many children must be supported
  • Each parent's percentage of custody (outside of a 50-50 split)
  • Each parent's income and/or earning capacity
  • Each parent's assets and any additional non-work income
  • Costs related to the children's health insurance, medical care and day care
  • Any special needs the children may have

Calculating Spousal Support In California

The purpose of spousal support - often called alimony - is to ensure that neither spouse falls into undue economic hardship as the result of a divorce. Because it is now common for both men and women to work outside of the home, spousal support awards are not always necessary.

When it is deemed necessary, courts will consider factors such as:

  • Each spouse's ability to support himself or herself
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse's age, physical health and overall financial condition
  • Each spouse's accustomed standard of living during the marriage

Spousal support can be temporary or permanent, and courts may award different types of spousal support depending on the unique factors of each case.

Why You Need The Help Of A Lawyer

It is rare for courts to deviate from a support award calculated using the state's guidelines. But seeking help from an experienced attorney is nonetheless very important. At the Mohajer Law Firm, APC, we can walk you through the process and help with the paperwork to ensure that your financial situation and needs are being accurately reflected.

We can also help you explore options to negotiate an agreement directly with your spouse or co-parent. In many cases, family law judges will honor agreements that couples have been able to work out themselves.

Contact Sina Mohajer For A Free Consultation

Call our Arcadia office at 626-999-3785, or fill out this online contact form to discuss your case or to set up an appointment.