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Child Support Doesn’t Have to Follow California Guidelines

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2020 | Child Support

Did you know that child support doesn’t have to follow California guidelines in all cases?  We are consistently asked about child support and whether or not one has to follow California’s guideline child support calculator. Ultimately child support can be negotiated as part of your North County or Carlsbad divorce settlement agreement.

However, California’s child support guideline is where the calculations begin. Our courts want to know what the guideline support calculation looks like before considering any deviations the parties wish to make.

California law states deviations from child support must comply with our Family Law Code including (but not limited to):
1. The amount under California guideline must be calculated
2. Specific reasoning for amount of variance from guideline
3. Specific reasoning as to why the amount requested is “consistent with the best interests of the children.”

Generally speaking, the Court must place into record the amount of child support based upon the guideline calculator and the “basis” (reasons) for deviation. The Court may then issue a “non-Guideline order” for child support which reflects the negotiated settlement of the parties.

There are many other reasons established in California law which would provide the basis for a deviation. There are too many to list here, but some of the more common reasons include:
– Guideline support is not congruent with the needs of the children based upon the child custody or parenting time arrangements in the case
– A high income wage earner’s guideline calculation exceeds the actual needs of the children
– The division of community property such as the equity in the home, a business ownership interest or other assets which serve as an “offset” to the guideline child support
– Application of the guideline calculation would be unjust or inappropriate based upon the unique circumstances of the case

This is why child support doesn’t have to follow California guidelines in every case.  What will happen in your unique circumstances?

It is important to work with the experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.  Based upon our decades of service representing clients before North County and San Diego Family Courts we provide sound and insightful guidance to our clients in all aspects of their divorce, including child support.

If you have concerns regarding child support in a North County or Carlsbad divorce we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.