Justia Lawyer Rating
BBB Rating A+
Top Rated
Lead Counsel Rated
Yelp badge
Avvo Rating
Super Lawyers
30 Years badge
CNN Money
Reginal Chamber
Best Business of 2022 - ThreeBest Rated badge

What Are Deviation Motions From Child Support Guidelines in San Diego and How Do They Work in a Legal Separation, Paternity or Divorce?

What Is the “Guideline” Child Support in San Diego Superior Court for a Divorce, Legal Separation or Paternity?

In San Diego, and throughout California, child support is determined by a computer formula commonly referred to as the “guideline”. This was established to provide uniformity of result between the different courts as, prior to the guideline, a parent in a paternity, legal separation or divorce in San Diego County, for example, might have a different support amount than in, for example, Orange County even though the information and facts of the cases were identical. Using the guideline does give uniformity of result throughout San Diego and all of the cities in California. For family law cases in family law court in San Diego Superior Court, the guideline child support amount is calculated by a computer program called the “Disso Master”.

What Is a Deviation Motion to Guideline Support?

In San Diego Superior Court, in order to request a Court order which is not guideline, a specific request has to be made. Under California law, the guideline is a rebuttable presumption. This may be rebutted by proof that the guideline would be inappropriate or unjust in its application. The standard of proof to rebut is the preponderance of the evidence and the Court must state, when making an order to deviate from the guideline, why it is doing so. Reasons for asking the Judge to deviate from guideline may be due to a hardship for legally supporting other children from a previous relationship, travel expenses if the parent’s live far apart, the parent’s themselves agreeing to a different amount, extra ordinarily high income of the paying spouse, extraordinary health expenses, uninsured catastrophic losses and others.

How Do You Request a Judge to Deviate From the Guideline Support?

In San Diego, there is a specific procedure to request the Judge not to follow the guideline support amount and to deviate. When a deviation from guideline is granted, it is not deducted directly from the child support award and amount and, rather, is uses as a deduction from the parent’s gross income when the Court determines net income. In addition, The San Diego Superior Court Judge will make either oral or written findings which specifically state the underlying circumstances and facts which support the granting of the deviation and the amount of the deviation and the duration of the deviation. In San Diego County, under California Rules of Court 5.260(b)(1), if you want to ask for a deviation from guideline for a child support order, you must file a declaration which states what you think the amount of the child support should be with the legal and factual bases which justify a deviation from guideline child support under Family Law Code Section 4057. This can be an extremely technical legal argument. For example, travel expenses are commonly referred to as a “negative add on”but this request could technically be considered a deviation from guideline.

How Can an Experienced San Diego Law Firm Help You?

Deviation to guideline child support motions can be very technical and difficult. You may be entitled to a deviation but if you do not follow the Family Law Code and Local Rules and other applicable law, then your request may be denied procedurally. The Law Firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can offer a free in-person or virtual consultation to discuss a deviation motion. This consultation is confidential whether their firm is hired or not.

Client Reviews
Dear Roy, I would like to thank you and all team members as well as office staff for helping me defend in this case. It has been a difficult time for me during the last couple of weeks, and now because of this success result, I am able to move forward with my new chapter of life, even a little late at this age!!! Again with much appreciation, I wish you all to continue to do the same with a big heart as it was with me, in helping those who are in need of your professional services. W.
Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future. T.S.
I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.