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The Fundamentals: Child in San Diego Divorce, Paternity and Legal Separation in 2014

How Does A San Diego Judge Determine Temporary Child Support For A Legal Separation, Paternity Or Divorce?

The Judge, in San Diego County, must use the Disso Master program which calculates temporary child support. The Disso Master program is the California State Guideline and will calculate both child support for pre judgment and post judgment orders. Sometimes one party does not agree with the guideline amount. In order to ask the Court to not follow the guideline, there is a strict and complicated procedure under the Family Law Code. This is called a motion which will deviate and be a different number than the calculator determines. For example, travel costs for visitation can be considered by the Judge to either raise or lower the child support and this would modify the base amount. The Disso Master uses the net income for support payment calculation buy the gross incomes of the parties are input into the program. Factors which the Court will consider include the number of children with each parent, percentage of time with the non custodial parent: tax filing status; self employment income; wages and salary, other taxable and non taxable income, if the parties are remarried then the new mate income can be included, mandatory union dues; mandatory retirement; premiums for health insurance; property tax deductions and medical expenses above any premiums. It is crucial to know what this number will be before filing a motion for child support for purposes of legal analysis. For example, many spouses think that the expenses of maintaining their community property house [or after judgment their new house] will lower their child support. In fact, the interest deduction and property tax deduction increases the net income so that the support goes up if the payor is the one who is the homeowner and down if the payee is the homeowner. Similarly, many spouses believe that if their ex spouse is married, than the income of the new spouse is added to their ex spouse and this will increase the income. In fact, the new spouse income is only used in the Disso Master column for tax purposes since more income will lessen their net since the tax rate increases. These are very complicated analysis and very important to run the numbers correctly.

How Does A San Diego Judge Determine Permanent Child Support Whether A Divorce, Legal Separation Or Paternity?

For permanent child support, the Judge [under California law] uses exactly the same factors as pre judgment. There is no difference in the child support payment whether this is a case where the spouses were married or not married or divorced or legally separated. This is much different than considerations for spousal support.

What Can You When The Other Spouse Will Not Work To What They Can Earn Or Will Not Work At All?

As to not working at all, one strategy is a job contact order. This can be accomplished by a motion or by agreement. All must work to support their children to their ability. If a spouse is 100% disabled, then their disability is included in income. Most spouses have some earning ability even if minimal. One exception is where the spouse is not allowed to work such as in an immigration case where work authorization for the spouse is not granted.

Another strategy is a vocational evaluation. This is most helpful when a spouse has significant education, training and experience and chooses not to work in their field or claims they cannot find a job. This is an advanced strategy.

How Can A Law Firm Help?

At the law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC, we can analyze according to the Disso Master program. We offer a free and confidential virtual consultation and can discuss with you your individual case and support guideline numbers. This will allow you to make intelligent and informed decisions regarding child support. Please feel free to call our office today for your appointment if you are interested in consulting with an attorney.

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