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Experienced Attorneys for Assistance With Child Support Agreements

Once you and your spouse have elected to file for divorce, or you have separated from the non-spouse parent of your child, the Law Office of Karen R. Leder in Elk Grove, California, can provide child support assistance. While the rules for setting child support are formulaic, results can vary dramatically as a consequence of what numbers are put into the formula. Certain circumstances can occasionally complicate the situation. Our experienced team will assert for the court's consideration the facts and figures most beneficial to your position.

Child Support Formula

The federal government requires that states have a specific formula for child support in order to qualify for federal funds. In California, we call it the "Guideline Formula." The statute has an algebraic equation that has been reduced to several computer programs, including "DissoMaster" and "Xspouse."

Using the formula, we input the gross income of each party, answer questions about things that affect each party's taxes (such as a mortgage interest write-off and other financial considerations), and provide certain figures for items that are to be included in the formula (such as medical insurance costs, mandatory retirement, etc.). The formula then calculates both parents' after-tax income. The next step is including the percentage of time each parent has with the children. The program then computes a guideline for child support, which the court will adopt.

Father and Son

Additional Considerations

With certain rare exceptions, judges do not have the discretion to award anything other than guideline-formula child support. However, there can be a great deal of difference in the end result, depending on the numbers that are input into the formula. One large area of concern is gross income. Parties who have self-employment incomes, seasonal jobs, commission income, overtime, furloughs, etc., will see their child support figures change dramatically, depending upon the figures the judge ultimately puts into the child support formula. Among other items that can have important consequences are hardships for other children in the home, new mate income, uncovered medical expenses, and reimbursements for extracurricular activities and tutoring.

Seek Counsel

In summary, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced family law firm regarding how the guideline formula could be implemented in any parent's case, prior to filing or responding to a motion for child support. Don't hesitate to contact our experienced law professionals for help. Our phone consultation is free and can offer you insight as to how your support would be calculated given your income and other factors.