Child & Spousal Support Calculation and Analysis
Each parent has a legal obligation to contribute to the financial well-being of their child(ren). Most parents want to support their child and provide for them in any way they can. California law requires courts to adhere to statewide uniform guidelines in setting child support orders.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is calculated by a specific formula that takes each parent’s actual income and percent of time spent with the child(ren). If you perform a simple search online, you can find several child support calculators that will give you a good estimate at how much you will pay. It is crucial that you put in the correct information to get an accurate calculation. Often clients come in with an entirely different number than we have calculated in mediation. After going through all the financial information, they realize that they either missed something or input the information wrong.
What Does Child Support Cover?
Child support covers only ordinary living expenses for a child. It does not include childcare, out of pocket medical costs not paid by insurance, travel expenses for visitation, extra-curricular activities or a child’s special education needs. These additional costs are typically split 50/50 between each parent unless they decide differently.
Child Support and Mediation
When you go through mediation, we will accurately calculate child support and help you and the other parent establish how other expenses will be paid. We strive to predict possible future expenses and put guidelines in place so you and the other party will have a plan in place to resolve issues as they arise. It is not uncommon for parties to return to mediation as their circumstances change.
Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, is much more complicated to calculate. Unlike child support, there is no set formula the court uses. Spousal support is one of the biggest sources of contention and conflict during a divorce. Our mediators are here to help you establish temporary support and then discuss a fair and reasonable agreement for amount and duration. Our San Diego mediators are knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to the legal basis for determining spousal support. The courts in California look to Family Code 4320 for a list of factors to take into account with ordering spousal support. Not all may apply to your case. These factors include:
- Income of each party
- The need of the supported party
- The ability of the supporting party to pay
- Duration of the marriage
- Marketable skills of the supported party
- Ability of the supported party to find a job
- Length of time supported party needs for education and training to find a job
- The length of time the supported party was unemployed
- Age of dependent children
- Assets of each party
- Health and age of each party
- History of domestic violence
We will help you and your spouse better understand how these factors may impact how spousal support is calculated. We know there are many intense emotions involved with spousal support. Our mediators always ensure you are both comfortable with your agreement.
If you need assistance calculating child support or spousal support, contact the experienced mediators today at SDFMC. Call (858) 736-2411 today to schedule your initial consultation.