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How will varying income be assessed with child support?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Child Support

California has a guideline that it uses to determine child support as part of a family law case. Most people might think that this is generally a concern for those of modest means. However, in high-asset divorce cases, the child support amount is a common topic for disagreement and the guidelines can be adjusted.

Those who earn a significant income could own their own business, be in the corporate sphere, work as investors, be in the entertainment industry or work in sports. They might earn a great living, but their income can vary based on myriad factors. The court will assess this while considering the child’s best interests. Knowing the law is fundamental when preparing for a case.

What does the court look at in terms of income?

To come to a fair determination for child support, the court will want to know the parents’ income sources. That includes their salaries, royalties, commissions, income from trusts, annuities, Social Security, retirement and more. If one or both parties are business owners, the court will want the gross receipts and expenses for its operation.

Earning capacity could also be a factor. If a person has the skills and education to earn more than they do, the court could adjust the child support amount accordingly. The circumstances surrounding the person’s earning status will be considered. The court must assess their abilities, education, age, work history, where they live, assets and seeking employment.

Fluctuating income in high-asset cases can impact child support

Those who are prominent in their chosen field and community—and might be well-known to the public—are frequently perceived as never having to worry about their finances. Despite that, even those who have significant salaries could face downturns. Maintaining the lifestyle could be difficult. A performer may suffer an illness or injury that renders them unable to do the same things they did before, limiting or ending their income stream.

The primary goal is to serve the child’s needs, but their lifestyle could be such that the amount of support will hinge on the parents’ current situation. They may be in private school and be accustomed to a specific way of life. In a high-asset divorce, this is just one aspect that parents should be cognizant of as the case proceeds.

Knowing about deviations from the guidelines and how to handle these cases generally requires experienced assistance. Calling for a consultation can provide information and representation to try and reach a positive resolution.