Calculating Child Support Payments in High-Income Families

Nov 6, 2020 Child Support

Making the difficult decision to end your marriage and seek a divorce becomes even more challenging when minor children are involved. In California, former spouses and parents of children are obligated to care for their children physically, emotionally and financially, usually resulting in one of the parents offering child support to the parent who will care for the children most of the time. When the family is a high income-earning family – where both spouses and their children have become accustomed to a particular lifestyle – calculating child support becomes that much more complicated. If you’re preparing for a divorce and looking to outline a parenting and child support plan, it’s best to speak with an experienced Irvine child support lawyer to develop an approach that works for your family.

While each state has individual guidelines for calculating child support, California employs a specific set of guidelines to calculate what is owed to each parent. If you’re a high income earning parent, you may wish to review these guidelines and speak with your attorney about the best approach for keeping child support payments reasonable and within the bounds of your former spouse’s and children’s lifestyle.

California’s Child Support Guidelines

California’s child support laws state that each parent is mutually responsible for supporting their children and that children must receive fair, timely, and sufficient support. Child support is calculated by reviewing each parent’s gross income, the percentage of time each child spends with each parent, income tax deductions that parents can claim, mandatory payroll deductions like health insurance, pensions and union dues, and child costs incurred by either parent. The state will then plug all of this information into a calculator designed to produce a figure that each parent must supply to care for their children. Your Irvine child support lawyer can help you estimate your specific costs.

California’s Child Support Formula

California’s formula for calculating child support looks like this:

Child support = Parent’s combined total income (high net – (% of high earner’s care)(combined total monthly disposable income))

Simple right? Not so much! The formula aims to consider each parent’s income and adjusts for the highest-earning parent, presuming that that parent should be responsible for the bulk of child support for the children. Generally speaking, the greater the disparity between the two parents’ income and the less time the higher-earning parent spends with the children, the more child support that parent will owe.

Speak with an Irvine Child Support Lawyer to Learn More

Calculating child support payments as a high-earning parent that won’t be caring for the children the majority of the time can leave you at a financial disadvantage. It’s recommended you speak with an experienced Irvine child support lawyer to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. Contact us today.