Articles Posted in Child Support

Talk to your children about what is happening

Only a minority of divorcing parents sit down with their kids and explain that the marriage is ending and encourage them to ask questions. Some say nothing, surely leaving the kids totally confused and fearful. It is so important to talk to your kids, because almost without fail, they know something is wrong, they just don’t know what and that creates a great deal of anxiety. Tell them as simply as possible, what is happening and what it means to them and their lives. When parents don’t communicate this to the children, the kids feel anxious, upset and fearful and have a much more difficult time coping with the separation and divorce.

Be sensitive and thoughtful

Prior to the passage of Senate Bill AB 1050 recently approved by the California legislature, the children of parents in custody battles have rarely been able to testify in court. Court’s typically obtain information from the child through third parties, commonly court appointed mediators who are often marriage and family therapists. Senate Bill AB 1050 which goes into effect January 1, 2012 amends California Family Code § 3042 and gives children a greater voice regarding their custodial preferences.

Existing law prior to AB 1050 required family courts “if a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody, to consider and give due weight to the wishes of the children” in making custody orders.

AB 1050, however, states that “If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation, the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.”

For those who go to court to determine how much child support should be paid by whom in a typical California divorce, there is a formula used to calculate the amount according to the state guidelines for child support.

The formula for the calculation of guideline child support is contained in California Family Code section 4055. That formula is expressed as follows: CS = K [HN – (H%)(TN)]. In this formula, the symbols set forth below (and used in the formula) make reference to the following definitions: CS = child support amount K = amount of both parents’ income to be allocated for child support HN = high earner’s net monthly disposable income H% = higher earner’s approximate time of physical responsibility for the children TN = the parties’ total monthly net income This formula will produce an amount of support per minor child. When more than one child is involved, the end result (CS) is then multiplied by a specific factor depending upon the number of children. For example, for two children the multiplier is 1.6; for three children, the multiplier is 2; for four children the multiplier is 2.3; for five children the multiplier is 2.5; for six children the multiplier is 2.625, and so on.

Roughly speaking, if the parents share relatively equal time and make roughly equal amounts of money, it is likely that neither will pay child support and that both will share costs such as unreimbursed medical and daycare. However, if either time or income vary, the formula will generate the guideline amount to be paid.

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