Divorce itself is a matter of extreme complexity and has a long-lasting negative impact on each of the family members. It destroys individuals emotionally, disrupts their financial stability, and makes the future of the children hazy.
The issues that surround divorce are difficult to handle and come with several challenges and complications. The most sensitive post-divorce matters are spousal support, child support, and child custody and visitation. When these matters are taken to court, the whole family goes through a difficult time, recovering from which is very difficult.
Child support after Divorce in San Diego
Child support is a monthly payment that a parent pays the other parent to support the well-being of their minor child. SEE California Family Code section 4053.
Income Determination for Child support
Under the California Family Law, the income for child support includes all streams of income source such as salaries, wages, bonuses, rents from rental property, pension, dividends, and trust or annuity income. However, income does not include payments of child support actually received or income derived from public assistance. Therefore, you will need the assistance of a professional attorney to determine the actual income for child support. See Family Code section 4058.
Other Possible Incomes
Some individuals enjoy benefits that lower their overall cost of living. These benefits can sometimes be a part of their employment or self-employment income. These benefits may include rent-free residence, transportation allowances, and meal allowances. The Family Law Court may include these benefits in the determination of income for child support. In some cases, the Court also includes recurring monetary gifts from parents as part of the income.
Lying or Under-Reporting Income
One of the most common issues in child support cases is that a parent lies about their income or under-report their income. In a situation where a parent lies about the income, the court turns to the party’s tax returns. Until a party provides evidence that the information on their tax returns is outdated or not reliable, the Court relies on their tax returns to determine the parent’s gross income. See Family Code 3900 and 3901.
If the tax return information is not reliable, there are other methods the Court may use to determine the parent’s income. The ways of determining income for child support includes profit and loss statements, credit card statements, loan applications, the total monthly expenses, and a party may request the use of a forensic CPA.
Lying or under-reporting income may be perjury, which is a crime under Californian law, and the parent who is involved in it may incur repercussions by the Court. If the court is unable to properly calculate a parent’s income, it may make very unfavorable presumptions about that parent’s income.
Refusal to Work or Case of Underemployment
A common, occurring issue in child support is when one parent has to face a child support order and the other parent is not working, despite being capable of working and earning a living. In a situation like this, the Court considers the parent’s earning capacity. Under the California Child Support Law, the earning capacity breaks in two parts which are the ability to earn an income and the opportunity, and the Court has the ability to impute wages on an under employ or unemployed parent based on those factors.
Child support is one of the toughest matters of a divorce. Hire a child support attorney in San Diego by calling the Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC today at 800-769-4748. You can also get a free 30-minute consultation with our knowledgeable divorce attorneys in San Diego.