The answers on this page are not intended to be all encompassing. Rather, they are to give you a basic understanding of the issues. For answers to your specific legal questions, contact our office to schedule your consultation appointment.

Child Support

  1. How much child support will I pay/receive?
  2. What about my expenses?
  3. How can I collect child support?
  4. Can my child support be increased/reduced?

Spousal Support

  1. How much spousal support will I pay/receive?
  2. What about my expenses?
  3. How long will I receive/pay spousal support?

1. How much child support will I pay/receive?

The California legislature has created a complex mathematical formula for calculating child support. It includes many factors such as income, custodial timeshare, taxes and mandatory deductions from income for items such as union dues and retirement. California uses two computer programs to calculate child support to determine what is often called ‘guideline child support’. To properly calculate child support takes some knowledge of both family law and state and federal tax laws.

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2. What about my expenses?

California law allows for very few expenses to be considered when discussing child support. The legislature has determined that child support should be the number one financial concern and virtually all other expenses aren’t typically considered.

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3. How can I collect child support?

Child support is typically payable through wage garnishment. An order to withhold income can be obtained through the courts. California also has a child support collection agency, Department of Child Support Services. Their office has other options to assist in the collection of child support.

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4. Can my child support be increased/reduced?

There are requirements to modify existing child support orders. The answer to this question would require a substantive review of a number of factors to discuss the options that you may have to modify your order.

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Spousal Support

1. How much spousal support will I pay/receive?

Unlike child support, spousal support has no definitive mathematical calculation. Instead, it is a combination of 14 different factors that the legislature has established. Those factors can be found in the Family Code at section 4320.

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2. What about my expenses?

Expenses are one of the factors in determining the amount of spousal support, both for the payee and the payor.

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3. How long will I receive/pay spousal support?

For many questions regarding the law, definitive answers are not always available. This is one of those questions. The determination on the duration of spousal support has numerous factors, including the length of the marriage, the ability of the paying party to make the support payments, the needs of the party receiving support, and the ability of the supported party to become self supporting.

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