Kevin Qualls Family Law
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More on deviations from the Child Support Guidelines

A previous post talked about how not every California child support case is a matter of applying a formula set out under this state's Child Support Guidelines. Particularly with high-earners and other parents in special circumstances, simply plugging in the appropriate numbers to yield child support might not be appropriate and even downright unfair.

California recognizes that the state's Guidelines do not work fairly in all situations. We have previously mentioned, for instance, that someone who earns a lot of money may need an adjustment in order to be sure that their child support payment is on the one hand fair to the child but on the other hand is not substantially more than necessary to meet the child's legitimate needs.

Other situations may also require deviations from the Guidelines. For instance, if a child has some special needs, parents may practically speaking have to pay more child support than the Guidelines require, as the Guidelines do not fully account for the extra expenses and financial costs having a special needs child entails. Likewise, unique custody and parenting time situations could require a deviation.

Basically, Orange County residents should think of the Guidelines as just that, guidelines which are presumably appropriate for most situations. However, a parent has the right to argue that the Guidelines are not appropriate under his or her specific circumstances. Of course, as with any court proceeding, a parent will need evidence to prove his or her point.

To reiterate, not every child support matter is black and white, even with the Guidelines in force. Oftentimes, a parent will need to argue for more or less support, not only as a matter of principle, but also out of financial necessity.

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