Let’s say that you are going through a divorce and splitting up, and now part of your income is allocated towards child support and spousal support. The stress of financial constraints can be daunting. In California, you must understand how the law applies to your case. For example, long term marriages of 10 years or more may be subject to alimony. Alimony can become a very heated issue especially for the spouse with the higher income. So what happens if you were married under 2 years? Or under 5 years? Are you required to pay alimony? Each case is different and our promise to you is to prepare and plan to achieve the most favorable outcome.
A spousal support award is not mandatory in a dissolution or legal separation proceeding in California. Quite the contrary, courts have discretion (within statutory parameters) to deny spousal support altogether or to limit it in an amount and duration that reflects the ability of both parties to provide for their own needs. A California alimony award is judged broadly by the parties’ “circumstances” in reference to the standard of living established during their marriage and their respective needs and abilities to pay. The court is bound to consider the statutory factors in making a California spousal support order. So long as the statutory factors are considered and weighed, the ultimate decision — as to amount, duration and whether to retain spousal support jurisdiction — rests within the court’s broad discretion.
Calculating Child or Spousal Support
The DissoMaster™ program is what we use to calculate child and spousal support payments in the State of California. This calculator has been used in the California judicial system for over 20 years, structured based on the guidelines set out in the California Family Code. At Desai Family Law, we always use the most current version of the DissoMaster™ available.
The California Family Code sets forth in great detail the use of an algebraic formula to calculate child support. The reality is, it is almost never used in actual practice. Why? The algebraic formula requires the use of net income to determine the support amount, and to arrive at the net income leaves plenty of room for error. We are very careful about determining what your net income is on your paycheck because everyone has a different set of issues when it comes to payroll. Most of all it may not reflect your actual year-end net income. That is why we pride ourselves on using DissoMaster™ because it calculates the correct net income (based on the family law court system) to determine the accurate amount of support.
Our staff is very diligent in making sure the right income information is applied so you are not being short changed when the final numbers are presented to the judge for approval. Whether you are seeking to collect spousal support or protect yourself against unmanageable obligations, alimony or spousal support, we will identify all of your needs and articulate your rights to the court. It is important that you provide us with as much information as possible so we can provide you with a detailed analysis and preferred outcome.