Are You Paying Too Much in California child support or spousal support?
To determine if you are paying or receiving the correct amount of child and spousal support you should look at your current California child support and/or California spousal support order to make sure the calculations are correct. You should also consider if any order reflects that current condition or circumstances that exist for you and the coparent.
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Modifying Support Payments
Before you consider returning to court to request modifying support payments, for either spousal or child support payments, you should check the last court order to ensure that you have been paying the correct amount.
Reasons for Modifying Support Payments
I want to change the amount I pay. How is support modified?
There are many reasons you may have for modifying support payments such as:
- The income of one or both parties has changed;
- One parent has lost their job;
- One parent has been incarcerated;
- One party has another child from another relationship;
- One party is now in a new relationship;
- There have been significant changes in how much time the child in the case spends with each parent;
- The child’s needs may have changed and there may be more (or less) costs for child care, health care, or education; and,
- There have been changes in any of the factors that are used to calculate child support or determine spousal support.
Factors to Consider for Modifying Support Payments
What does the court consider to modify support?
- Timeshare is the amount of time children spend with each parent. Any calculation should be done on an hourly basis to ensure accuracy. You must also consider any timeshare differences for other children you and your co-parent share.
- The tax filing status for you and the coparent are correct and that all taxes are included. Tax payments will vary should you live outside State of California
- Payments for all interest paid on a mortgage and all property taxes have been included.
- The possibility of a hardship deduction to care for other children in the house who are not the children of you and your co-parent.
- All child care costs add-ons are being divided equally.
- Verify your income and your co-parent’s income. Take the amount of pay on a biweekly paycheck (every other week), multiply it by 26, and then divide the total by 12 to arrive at a monthly figure.
- All overtime pay is considered. If a co-parent’s overtime has suddenly stopped, the court can consider average in the past 12 months of pay.
- Any other income for you and your co-parent (rents, social security or interest) is included.
- A self-employed co-parent has correctly accounted for all income and expenses arising from their business.
- That all non-taxable income such as worker’s compensation, disability and non-taxable social security is included for gross income.
- All health insurance premiums (medical, dental, and vision) have been included.
- Retirement Accounts contributions that are mandatory are included.
- Payments for any job-related expenses have been considered (union dues, uniforms, gas, car payments, bridge tolls, work-related cell phones).
- Any current child support has ended for any child who has graduated from high school or has reached the age of 19 (whichever is first).
- That the co-parent receiving support has not moved-in with their lover. Spousal support can be reduced or eliminated if the supported spouse is in a romantic relationship and the significant other is paying some or all of the supported spouse’s bills. A romantic relationship differs from a roommate situation in that it is presumed roommates share expenses.
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