Special Issues of Income in Child Support
The income of both parents determines the amount of child support to be paid. Both parents will try and show lesser income than they actually earn so that the parent seeking child support can get more and the parent paying it has to pay less as support. Certain very tricky situations with regards to income come up that the California family court has to settle.
The court generally considers the annual gross income of both the parents before deciding on the final amount of child support. Bonuses, overtime and commissions also get calculated in this annual gross income. Some of the special issues that the court has to deal with include the following:
When the bonuses, overtime and commissions do not continue as before –
Such claims are very common. The spouse claiming that their income does not remain the same will have to prove to the court, with detailed documents and evidences from the employer, that this is indeed true. If the proofs and evidences are satisfactory to the court, the court will not include such additional earnings as part of the annual gross income.
When such additional earnings are irregular –
The court determines the average of the spouse’s income. The court considers the additional incomes of more than one or two years and calculates the average. So even if the earning is irregular it does not really matter.
When the support paying parent refuses to work overtime –
If a spouse refuses to work overtime it may be acceptable by the court but again the spouse will have to provide with sufficient and acceptable reason for that. A simple ‘I do not want to’ will not be accepted by the court. But the court recognizes the fact that it becomes difficult for separated parents to work overtime when they have to think about visiting or parenting time and the custodial parent taking care of the child full time.
When either parent gets a new spouse –
The parent with the new spouse will not want the new spouse’s income to be considered to determine any changes to the support payment. The custodial parent would want more in support amount because now the remarried parent has more income when that income is combined with the income of the new spouse.
Cases of child support can get very complicated. So you should enlist the help of a professional and experienced lawyer in California.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.