Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Counting the income of a former partner's new companion

One frustration an Orange County, California, parent may face when it comes to child support is when the other parent is underemployed and thus, under the general rules that apply to child support calculations, does not have to pay as much in support. This situation is especially frustrating when the other parent had a good paying job and traded it for something that does not pay as much.

A reason either parent might quit work at a good-paying job is that he or she is now with a new partner who makes enough to support the household. In this case, the parent may decide to stay home full time and then claim that he or she is entitled to a reduction in child support.

The general rule in California is that the income of a person's new partner does not count in that person's child support calculations except in what the law calls extraordinary cases. However, the law specifically states that one such extraordinary case is when a parent who was working a high-paying or at least steady job and then quit in order stay home and live off the income of his or her new partner.

Therefore, in this situation, either parent has the option of asking a judge to take in to consideration that the parent is not truly unemployed but in fact is in a good enough situation to keep paying child support in the same amount as when he or she worked. While this is ultimately a decision that will be up to the judge, it is good to be aware of this legal option, particularly when a parent can really use the child support in order to make ends meet and provide for the couple's kids.

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