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Child Support Calculation
In cases of a separation or divorce where child custody is being disputed, the divorce decree will often include a child support order. The child support order typically defines the frequency and the amount of child support payment that one parent, who is generally the noncustodial parent, has to make to the other parent, who is generally the custodial parent, for the support of their minor child. One of the main purposes of a child support order is to regularly transfer some amount of the earnings of one parent to the other parent, which combines the assets of both parents to financially support the child.
How is the child support payment determined?
Child support payments are typically determined according to basic and objective guidelines. Most states have set up mathematical formulas to determine the amount of the payment. Attorneys are often able to calculate child support payments for their client using child support calculators, which give an estimate of the potential amount that the noncustodial parent will have to pay the custodial parent.
What factors are taken into account in calculating child support?
The child support calculation formula usually takes into account the net incomes of the parents. Federal and state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, health insurance payments, union dues, and other mandatory expenses are typically deducted from the gross income of the parents before calculating the child support amount. In many cases, parents may have to present evidence regarding their income, including pay statements, profit/loss statements of sole proprietorships, or tax returns. This evidence prevents one party from hiding income which should be included to properly calculate child support.
In addition to the net income of the parents, the child support formula takes into account other factors, such as the amount of time a child spends or lives with each parent, the number of children, and special medical or educational expenses. Determining the amount of child support can be very complex, and the child support calculation formula varies from state to state. As a result, some states use computer programs to determine the accurate amount of child support, while other states have different methods. An attorney in your area can provide expertise with the child support formula in your jurisdiction.
In a summary dissolution, a hearing with the judge is typically not needed. A marriage of five years or less may be ended by summary dissolution, which is a simplified procedure to terminate a marriage in the state of California. With a summary dissolution, a joint petition is filed when 1) either spouse meets the standard residency requirement, 2) the marriage is irretrievably broken down due to irreconcilable differences, 3) the marriage is childless, 4) the wife is not pregnant, 5) neither spouse owns real estate, 6) there are no unpaid debts greater than $4,000, 7) the total value of community property is less than $25,000, 8) neither spouse has separate property (excluding cars and loans) of greater than $25,000, 9) the spouses have reached an agreement regarding the division and distributions of assets and liabilities, 10) both waive their rights to maintenance and appeal; 11) both have read a brochure about summary dissolution and 12) both desire to end the marriage.
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