05 Oct Judge Orders Deadbeat Dad to Pay Child Support
Robyn and John, both in their late 30s, had been together for seven years. When Robyn got pregnant, though she knew that John had a son from a former relationship and was an indifferent father, she wanted to have this child.
Everyone had always told John how brilliant he was
John graduated from Rutgers with a Ph.D. in cell microbiology. He returned to Seattle and took a post-doc position at the University of Washington. That was 15 years ago. Post-doc positions generally last two-three years; they don’t pay much and they’re meant to be learning periods, after which people move on to careers in academia or research. John did neither. After 15 years, he was still a post-doc.
Robyn took this deadbeat dad to court
Robyn and John were no longer together, but she needed John’s financial support to raise their son. John’s view was that he didn’t make enough money to be paying child support. He spent most days working from coffee shops and was content to be muddling along on his meager post-doc salary. The judge threw the book at John and told him he needed to get a job, start making some real money and contribute to the support of his kids. The judge scheduled dates when John had to be back in court to show progress.
Unpaid child support compromises the wellbeing of children
Nonpayment of child support is an offense that’s punishable by jail time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t solve the problem. It still leaves the custodial parent, generally the mother, trying to make ends meet, and it ultimately punishes the child. What many may not realize is that there is a statewide Child Support Guideline that defines how child support is determined. It’s neither arbitrary nor subjective. Rather, it’s a formula that’s predicated on both parents being responsible for supporting their children, and it’s part of the California Family Code.
The Guideline is designed to provide a minimum level of support
The standard guideline provides a minimum level of child support and uniformity in the way it’s calculated and applied. Both judges and parents are expected to adhere to these guidelines. Child support orders must ensure that children receive fair, timely support that’s consistent with California’s standard of living.
Applying the Guideline
The Guideline is a formula that uses parents’ income, deductions and time spent with the child to come up with a dollar amount for child support. An online child support calculator helps couples contemplating Divorce estimate their child-support commitments.
Child support is based on:
- Each parent’s gross income.
- The percentage oftime each child spends with each parent. If there is more than one child and each child spends different percentages of time with each parent, this starts to get complicated.
- Any available income tax deductions that the parents can claim, such as mortgage interest.
- Mandatory payroll deductions, such as health insurance, pensions, and union dues.
- Child-care costs. If there are young children, there will be childcare costs that likely need to be shared.
The calculator will generate the child support estimate. In general, 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.
Breaking down the formula
Here is the formula California uses to calculate child support:
CS = K (HN – (H%) (TN)).
- CS is the child support amount. This is what the formula will calculate once you’ve plugged in all of your information. The amount will be for one child.
- K is the combined total of both parents’ income to be allocated for child support.
- HN stands for high net: The net monthly disposable income of the parent who earns more.
- H% is the approximate percentage of time that the high earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent.
- TN is the combined total net monthly disposable income of both parents.
Division of property, parenting plans and calculating child support—it can all seem confusing, but Divorce is actually a very methodical process. Guideway guides you through it and we prepare the legal documents.
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