In California, both parents have an obligation to support their children. In many cases, one spouse made more money than the other spouse during the marriage. In these cases, spousal support orders are often made.
As of 2019, spousal support is no longer taxable to the recipient or deductible to the payor.
Complicated support issues involve hiding or refusing to disclose income and assets, refusal by a party to work, refusal to pay ordered support and outstanding arrears. When one parent refuses to disclose their income or refuses to work, we can help you figure out what an appropriate support award should be and ensure that the court orders are followed.
How much will I have to pay for child support?
Child support is based on a statutory calculation that includes the time you spend with the children, income, and certain expenses. You can find a link to an online child support calculator here.
How much will I get for spousal support?
Spousal support is not always easy to determine, as calculating spousal support involves consideration of a lot of different factors, including the needs of the supported party, and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. Unlike child support, the court does not have a spousal support calculator that determines a certain set amount of support payable to the supported party. Often, however, the court will adopt the calculations that are provided in the online support calculator here.
How long will child support or spousal support last?
Child support will continue under California law until the child turns 18 or graduates high school (whichever occurs later), or the child becomes emancipated or a ward of the state, the child dies, or a further court order is made.
The length of spousal support orders is much less defined but very generally, spousal support can last as long as one-half the duration of marriage for marriages under 10 years, or indefinitely for marriages longer than 10 years.
There are numerous considerations for child support and spousal support orders, however, and many factors will change the amount and duration of any support order. We can help you navigate this complicated issue.
What if no payment was made on the current support order?
Do you already have a court order for support but the other parent hasn’t paid? Have you not paid the court ordered amount of support? Child support and spousal support orders are effective until another order changes or terminate this obligation. Child support and spousal support arrears accrue interest at 10% each year. Don’t get caught in the trap of accumulating arrears. We can help you get what is owed or develop a strategy to repay the arrears.
How to Prepare for Your First Meeting
Often, child custody and child support are considered together, though we will need different information for different cases. Below is a simple outline for what you should bring to make the first meeting as productive as possible.
- Make a list of specific questions you want to be answered or issues that are most troubling to you.
- The current support orders or arrangement, if any.
- Any documents that have been filed with the court, particularly the most recent custody and support orders. However, if the case has been going on for a while, we don’t need the last few years of documents, only the most recent documents or any pending actions.
- A general idea of your income, and the other party’s income. The more specific information you can provide, the better we can advise you, but we don’t need paycheck stubs or tax returns if you do not have these available to you at the first meeting.