California Court Discusses Judgments in Divorce Proceedings

The courts will typically take numerous factors into consideration when determining child support obligations. In cases in which the courts lack adequate information to make a final determination, they will often issue interim orders pending the receipt of additional data. It is important to note that, as illustrated in a recent California ruling, such orders may not impose actual support obligations on the parties involved. If you have questions regarding the potential financial impact of sharing custody of a child, it is smart to contact a trusted San Diego child support lawyer to discuss what evidence you may need to produce to obtain a fair outcome.

The History of the Case

Allegedly, the husband and the wife married in 2001 and had three children, two of whom are still minors. In 2015, the wife filed a divorce action. The following year, in accordance with a marital settlement agreement, the trial court entered a judgment of dissolution and granted the husband and wife joint physical and legal custody of their children. The court also ordered the husband to pay child support.

It is reported that later that year, the wife filed a request for an order to modify spousal support, child support, and child custody and visitation. Both parties subsequently filed additional requests for orders modifying child and spousal support. The court conducted a trial addressing all of the requests for orders. At the end of the trial, the court imputed $40,000 per year in additional income to the husband and directed counsel to prepare child support calculations in accordance with its findings. The husband then challenged the trial court’s ruling.

Judgments in Divorce Proceedings

The husband argued that the trial court erred in multiple aspects, including imputing additional income to him and failing to make findings regarding the wife’s income. The court disagreed with the husband’s reasoning, noting that the trial court set forth rulings regarding child support but ultimately dictated that the attorneys for the parties were to meet and confer and prepare a calculation of a support obligation that complied with its findings.

The court explained that in divorce matters, judgments of dissolution are final judgments. Subsequent orders, such as those modifying child support obligations, may be challenged as orders made after final judgments. The court noted, though, that not all orders following final judgments can be contested. Instead, only orders affecting or relating to the judgment by staying its execution or enforcing it may be disputed. Here, the trial court’s order contemplated further proceedings. Thus, it could not be challenged.

Speak to an Experienced California Family Law Attorney

If you are involved in a dispute over child support, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about your options. The experienced San Diego family law attorneys of Doppelt and Forney APLC can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking a favorable result.  We have an office in San Diego, and we regularly represent parties in child support proceedings in cities throughout San Diego County. You can contact us via our online form or by calling 800-769-4748 to set up a confidential and free meeting.


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