2014: Detailed Analysis of Child Support Guideline Calculations in a Paternity, Divorce or Legal Separation in San Diego and Deviation From Guideline

WHAT IS THE GUIDELINE FOR PARENTS FOR CHILD SUPPORT WHETHER YOUR FAMILY LAW CASE IS A DIVORCE, LEGAL SEPARATION OR PATERNITY AND WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

In San Diego Superior Court, the “guideline” is calculated by a computer program called the “disso master”. The Judges in Family Law Court have this computer program and use this program to calculate temporary [pre judgment] and permanent [post judgment] child support. When you are deciding on the amount of child support as (1) payor or (2) payee, it is crucial to know what the amount of child support would be if the Judge calculates this in Court. You do not want, as the payor, to go to a court hearing and have a higher order than you can negotiate. Similarly, you do not want, as the payee, to go to a court hearing and have a lower order than you can negotiate.

HOW IS THE GUIDELINE CALCULATED IN SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT?

The guideline is calculated by input data for both parents. The program uses the gross income for the input data but calculates from the net. There are many different factors for the data input. Below are some of the factors from the disso master program:

  • number of federal exemptions
  • number of children of the parent’s relationship
  • percentage of time with the non custodial parent
  • wages and salary
  • self employment income
  • all other taxable income
  • all other non taxable income
  • required union dues
  • child support paid to child of another relationship
  • spousal support paid to a spouse of another relationship
  • health insurance premiums
  • mandatory retirement
  • hardship deduction
  • deductible interest expense
  • property tax expense
WHAT IS A DEVIATION FROM GUIDELINE CHILD SUPPORT?

The guideline amount is presumed to be correct. If your goal is to have a child support order which is not the guideline amount, then you must ask for a deviation. As of June 1, 2013, requests by any party for a deviation from guideline must be requested and include a declaration which sets forth the guideline amount and then the legal and factual basis for a deviation from guideline under Family Law Code 4057. If the Judge agrees and does deviate from the guideline in the court order, then there are additional requirements including that the Judge states, in writing or on the record, the following:

  • the amount of support which is guideline
  • the reasons for the amount of support ordered which differs from the formula guideline amount
  • the reasons that this deviation is in the best interests of the children

If a party requests, the Judge shall also state, in writing or on the record, the following:

  • the net amount income which is disposable of each parent
  • the actual income tax federal filing status of each party
  • deductions from gross income which is applicable for each parent
  • the approximate percentage of the time share
WHAT DEVIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW?

There are many deviation to guideline motions. Below are only some:

  • travel expenses for visitation when parents live out of state which is also called a “negative add on”
  • low income parties
  • high income parties
  • medical expense hardships
HOW CAN AN EXPERIENCED LAW FIRM HELP?

An experienced attorney can assist in the analyzation of the child support so you know the true amount. The law firm of Doppelt & Forney, APLC can run your guideline child support calculations so you can make an intelligent and informed opinion when deciding whether or not to go to court and ask the Judge to make an order. This law firm offers a free consultation which is confidential whether or not you hire their firm.

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