California Child support question

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

California Child support question

Unread postby CA_dad_2016 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:09 pm

Hey everyone, sorta a specific question for California I assume. Long story short, I am currently paying child support for my to kids (F16, F10) my youngest is 50/50 my oldest (F16) makes her own schedule but is currently doing 50/50 (month on and off). I am currently paying guideline support in California at 70% for my oldest 50% youngest. Asked Ex to adjust support for the oldest. I proposed 60/40 (giving her the 60%) and just settle this out of court and have the lawyers write up something. She refused. I have been keeping a good journal and the oldest has been with me 44%, my ex 56% over the last 6 months. Anway may not seem like a big difference, but it's over 300/month for me. Her lawyers response is to cite this in the CA code

(5) Application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstances in the particular case. These special circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
(B) Cases in which both parents have substantially equal time-sharing of the children and one parent has a much lower or higher percentage of income used for housing than the other parent.

Has anyone run into this before? My income is a lot more than her's...but I do pay a lot of spousal support and live in northern California so I am not rich by any means... I make 120K she makes 35K. I pay her 18K a year in spousal...

I know court can be unpredictable, but just wanted to check if anyone else has ran into this before...did you win/lose? I'd rather put that 300/month towards my daughter's college fund rather than give it to my ex who is doesn't do a good job managing money to say the least...

Thanks!
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby nr552 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 pm

" I am currently paying guideline support in California at 70% for my oldest 50% youngest."

I'm confused.

What's your agreement through the court (stipulated or otherwise) on custody for your D16 and D10?

50/50? Going for a child support mod may trigger Custody Modification -- you may get LESS time.

Is your spousal support modifiable? -- Going back may revisit your current spousal support order-- potentially an increase if you've had a salary increase since the previous order or MSA.

What's the cost benefit vs. the potential increase in support? $300 a month x 12 months = $3600 (about what a standard retainer is)... $7200 over the next 2 years when your D16 turns 18...

Do the numbers...
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby FlyGuySLO » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:41 pm

I am not clear why, if your entered judgement is 50/50 custody, you are paying so much more support. If the custody agreement was 70/30 and your oldest is making her own schedule, then you should probably just keep it as it is because the court will want to see an actual "change in circumstance" in order to adjust support.

As I understand it, that would be a significant income change or job loss, or the need to adjust the schedule for the safety or benefit of the child (e.g. - one parent lives 45min away from the new school and the other parent lives across the street from it). Anyways, I think this is the case, but correct me if I'm wrong here guys.

The above poster makes a good point about the numbers. However, I'm not sure I agree about getting LESS custody time.

If the judgement said you have 70/30 it's not likely you'd get less than you have now in reality, which is essentially 50/50.
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby CA_dad_2016 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:56 pm

So it's a long convoluted story. Essentially a year ago I filed to decrease child support as my Ex was making considerably more than when we divorced in 2012. She responded by filing a motion to change parenting time and make me a weekend dad (originally it was 50/50 for both kids up until that point. I should have expected this, but live and learn. Anyway she made up a bunch of stupid stuff and exaggerated the rest. I fought and A court appointed mediator agreed with me that 50/50 was in the best interests of the D10 and we would let the d16 make her own schedule and decide on support after 90 days. Well after 90 days d16 was with her mom 70% of the time. Ex claimed D16 wanted to be with her 100% of the time, which D16 indicated to the mediator that was not the case. I had a suspicion the 70%was just a fluke and proposed 60/40 so we would not have to go back to court again. Ex refused. Low and behold 6 months pass and D16 is with me more than 50% of the time! Which is nice, but i'm overpaying support 300-400/month and teenagers eat a lot and are expensive!. So I decide to propose 60/40 again, and again it was refused. interestingly D16 started spending more time with me after ex gets a new serious boyfriend. I have a feeling ex is encouraging D16 to spend more time with me while keeping her current support payments..

I ran the numbers several times.... it's worth it.... barely if I keep legal costs low.
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby BCD2016 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:59 pm

This is similar to a question I have in regards to modifying CS in CA. Hope you don't mind me piggy backing since I haven't seen any responses to my question.

Is it safe to assume that despite what a previous court order says regarding parenting time. If the practicing parenting time is greater or less and established over a period of time (status quo?) (i.e. in my case I'll have over 10 months) that the practicing parenting schedule is what is factored into a support order?
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby nr552 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:09 pm

Sounds like bouncing around, the court should have left it @ 50/50... Regardless of how your D16 changes "her" schedule, get it back to 50/50... as teenagers will change their mind like the wind... Have CS modification requested @ guideline with your income and your ex's income. That would be your best outcome.

Add in caveats that might sweeting the deal-- "dad will cover all out of pocket medical costs"... whatever.
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby FlyGuySLO » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:49 pm

Ok, I understand now.

I pretty much agree with nr552.

I don't even know I'd use a lawyer on this because that will eat up whatever benefit you get with an adjustment. Just go in with as much documentation as possible and point out that immediately after the 90 day "sampling period", your D16 went to your place far more often, which was probably a tactic by your ex.

I agree that it should be 50/50 for both kids and leave it at that.
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby nr552 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:40 pm

If it's a simple "request for order" change of circumstances, and you are fairly well documented, you can use a paralegal for something like this.

I did, but I also did 90% of my divorce pro-se. I did a lot of "what if's" with attorneys for the 1 hour consult, most of them free. I also had all of my documents professionally prepared-- they can't give you legal advice-- BUT....they know what what's needed and how go about it. My ex's last attorney wanted to know who my attorney was... lol.

Cost me about $650 for all the paperwork, filing, etc.

Best $650 I've spent.
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby CA_dad_2016 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:54 pm

So yeah, I think that is what I need to do (represent myself).

Update: Went to court today. Ex's attorney tried to make that stupid argument that because we live in a high cost location (all of norcal is high cost lol) that child support should be set at current amount regardless of actual parenting time. Judge was pretty pissed and said that was ridiculous. That was actually fun to watch!

However, the judge said because my ex is disputing my journal it will need to go to trial. So obviously this makes it financially stupid for me to do if I pay my lawyer. I have a feeling this was my ex's plan all along, but I am frankly tired of being pushed around and I'm okay with blowing a few grand, but not 10-15K to get 6K back in child support over the next 1.5 years.

So my options as I see it now

-Drop the whole thing, and save my resources for my inevitable spousal support battle (when I decide to so that). I currently pay 2.7K /month in child and spousal
-represent myself and see how it goes
-ask a few lawyer friends to help pro se . One of my girlfriends good friends is actually a family court judge in another county...she maybe able to help....but who knows...

Thoughts?
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Re: California Child support question

Unread postby nr552 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:39 pm

1.5 years, 18 months @ $300 a month (per your original post)-- $5400. Is parenting time @ 50/50? Sounds like you only went to court to modify child support and not a parenting time (custody) mod?

Whats your SS obligation (length of marriage, modifiable?) -- Ex-got a boyfriend? Cohabitating with boyfriend?

--
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