Understanding California Spousal Support Rules
Orange County divorce cases can sometimes be complex affairs. A divorce cases usually involves a host of issues that need to be addressed by the two parties before a judge can decide on the final judgment. One of the most important factors in a divorce case is spousal support. Spousal support has multiple rules that can make it difficult to understand.
In this blog, we will take a look at the rules used in calculating temporary spousal support while the Orange County divorce case is going on (versus long-term spousal support considerations at the end of the divorce case at trial which requires a consideration of the marital standard of living and the factors under California Family Code section 4320). In California, the courts determine temporary spousal support using a computer formula that is known as Xspouse or Dissomaster. In cases that involve children, spousal support is calculated after the child support requirements have been evaluated since the children come above everything else in a divorce case.
Yet despite the computer program, there are exceptions to the way spousal support is calculated. Here are a few rules that govern exceptions in calculating spousal support.
· When Tax consequences are different to what has been assumed by the Spousal support formula
The computer program that calculates the spousal support has an assumption of a tax consequence existing for all gross incomes. It will take into account what you would pay as tax. If however that is not the case, you need to notify the court as such as prove it using facts and evidences that prove your net disposable income has been calculated incorrectly.
· When you have support obligations from other relationships
The computer formula is not designed for special circumstances. If you have been in a prior Orange County divorce and still have support payments to make, you should tell that to the judge. The judge will take that into account when deciding on the spousal support amount in this case.
· The California Spousal Support Number doesn’t consider what you need
One of the leading criticisms of the system has been its inability to take into account the need of the spouse being supported. The computer will simply develop an amount using the net disposable income of the spouse. If the spousal support amount is disproportionate or inadequate for the needs of the spouse, they can put the matter in front of the judge for modification.
To prove you have need, the evidence needs to be factual, compelling and of an actual need and not a hidden want. Despite that, it will be on the court’s discretion to award an additional mount on top of has been decided or not.
· Extremely High expenses not considered by the Spousal Support Formula
If you have out of the ordinary expenses that you want the court to take into account before making the spousal support order. You need to lay it down in front of the judge. The judge will only listen to your claim if you can give tangible, compelling evidence. But the decision is solely on their discretion.
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