Deviation from Child Support Guidelines in California

S.P. v. F.G. involved a high income earner and a modification of child support.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND OF THE REQUEST FOR ORDER FOR
MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT

The parents of the minor child were never married. The mother starred in a reality show, and the father was an accomplished businessman who earned an annual net income of $4,061,815. After the birth of their daughter, the parents agreed that the father would pay $9,200 a month in support to mother. He also paid for all of his daughter’s educational expenses, her extracurricular activities, and her medical expenses. The mother sought an increase of child support to at least $35,000 a month based upon the earnings of the father. The father argued that the amount of $10,000 a month in child support was adequate for the minor child.

INCREASE IN CHILD SUPPORT ORDER

The family court calculated a guideline child support amount of $40,882, but the court deviated from that amount and ordered the father to pay $14,840 per month. It also ordered the father to pay for all medical expenses, private school tuition, and all extracurricular activities of the minor child. The family court stated that it deviated from the guideline child support amount, because the amount of support required by the guideline exceeded the child’s needs. For that reason, an award of $14,840 per month was made by the family court. The mother appealed the order.

APPEAL OF THE CHILD SUPPORT ORDER

The court of appeals agreed with the family court. It stated that the amount calculated by the guideline formula is presumptively correct. However, the presumption can be rebutted if the parent requesting a deviation can show that the formula is unjust or inappropriate in the particular case. If a parent is seeking a lower award of child support, it is that parent’s burden to show that a lower award would be in the best interest of the minor child consistent with Family Code section 4057. The court found that because there was a historic agreement for $10,000 that supported the idea that the minor child did not require $35,000 a month in support. In addition, the mother did not provide enough evidence to show that the minor child’s expenses required more than the amount awarded by the family court. In this case, the family court reviewed the expenses claimed by the mother–used either all or most of the expenses claimed by the mother in its calculation of child support and made a corresponding order.

DO YOU NEED HELP WITH ISSUES RELATED TO CHILD SUPPORT?

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as child support or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, spousal support and/or property division, please consider our law office in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

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Treviño Law, Inc.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California
Phone (949) 716-2102
Visit us at
www.LawintheOC.com

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.
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