Child Support & Alimony
Obtaining the right child support and spousal support order can add a layer of stress and anxiety onto the already tedious process of a separation. You need someone who has the experience and knowledge to ensure that the proper orders are made. The Soleymani Law Firm has expertise in all types of support cases and helped hundreds of clients obtain the right support orders upon separation.
Child support can be complex and if not handled the right way, a parent could end up with an order that he or she cannot afford. Alternatively, if the information is not presented correctly, the amount of child support could be too low to provide for the child’s basic necessities.
How Child Support is Calculated
The Judge will consider several factors when determining how much a parent will pay or receive in child support. Some factors are:
Income (All income, before taxes)
Child Custody Percentage
Child’s Standard of Living
Courts will consider all income including W2 earnings, tips, rental income, business income, passive income, government benefits, commissions, etc.
A party’s deductions affect the income he/she has available to pay child support. Examples of these deductions include dependency exemptions, mandatory retirement, mortgage interest and property taxes.
Another significant factor that the Court will consider when making a child support order is the amount of time the child spends with that parent. Child support is typically calculated as soon as a child custody is ordered, thus it is essential to have a skilled attorney handle each step of the case, from the beginning to the end. Generally, the more time a parent spends with the child, the less child support that parent will pay. Again, there are several factors that affect this outcome, thus it is essential to have an advocate with you when making a child support determination.
An additional factor in calculating child support, which is specific to the State of California, is that the Court is required to account for the child’s current standard of living. Essentially, the purpose of child support is to even out the difference in each parent’s income and therefore the child’s lifestyle. The Court does not want the child to live in the lap of luxury with one parent and struggle for basic necessities with the other parent, especially if the different lifestyles are a result of the parents’ respective incomes.
Whether you are ordered to pay child support or are requesting child support, it is essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced child support attorney at your side, that will guide you through the intricacies.
Enforcing Child Support
Child support doesn’t stop with the order. The reason why there are so many complexities wrapped around child support, is because often times even when one parent is ordered to pay child support, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to pay it. This is why it is so essential to your divorce case to have an aggressive and experienced divorce attorney handle these complexities for you.
Overdue child support can be extremely challenging to navigate, especially from a parent that isn’t willing to pay it. Sometimes, parents just give up on owed child support, as they don’t want to be bothered with the trouble. One important message to those parents is that, child support is intended for the child, not the parent, thus making it very important to collect past due child support.
Frequently, past due child support is accompanied by interest and penalties. Past due child support money can be very helpful and useful for things like future expenses that your child will require. Future expenses like education, college expenses, health care, add up, and child support can help with these costly expenses.
Attorney Deborah Soleymani and her team are equipped with all the right tools, and are devoted to you and your children’s rights.
The purpose of spousal support is to help the supported party maintain the marital standard of living for a period of time after the parties’ separation. In determining the appropriate spousal support amount, the Court will look to several factors including each parties’ income, deductions, property tax obligations, mortgage interest, health insurance premiums and others. At the onset of a case, the Court can enter the relevant numbers into a program and order the amount given by the program.
However, later in the case, and for permanent spousal support, the Court must conduct an analysis of several factors and it cannot use the computer program. Those factors are:
- The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following:
(1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
(2) The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties.
- The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party.
- The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.
- The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.
- The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party.
- The age and health of the parties.
- All documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s child, including, but not limited to, consideration of:
– A plea of nolo contendere.
– Emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party. o Any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party.
– Issuance of a protective order after a hearing pursuant to Section 6340. o A finding by a court during the pendency of a divorce, separation, or child custody proceeding, or other proceeding under Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200), that the spouse has committed domestic violence.
- The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.
- The balance of the hardships to each party.
- The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a “reasonable period of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the
length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.
- The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with Section 4324.5 or 4325.
- Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.
No one factor is more important than another. Thus, it is essential that you be represented by an advocate who is experienced and knowledgeable in this area of the law and who can prepare your case for the best possible outcome. The attorneys at The Soleymani Law Firm come equipped with years of experience litigating spousal support requests and are prepared to represent you.
Child and Spousal Support Modifications
Most child and spousal support orders are modifiable. Whether you are paying support and are seeking a reduction, if you were recently served with a motion for a downward modification of support or if you feel your child or spousal support order should be increased, it is vital that you seek representation and handle this with a professional. The law is intricate in this section and even one incorrect form can cause your entire case to fail. The attorneys at The Soleymani Law Firm litigated countless spousal support cases are prepared for even the most complex circumstances.
Support modifications typically require a change in circumstances such as income, custodial time with a minor child or a new child that the payor is financially responsible for. A trained and experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law is necessary for any case involving a support modification.