Menu
menu
News and Resources

When Child Support Orders Exceed the Needs of the Child

shutterstock_116478136

Child Support in California is not based on the needs of the child.

Child support orders in California are based on a formulaic guideline–not an analysis of the needs of the child. This child support guideline is statutory and mandatory giving family law judges very little discretion when making orders for child support. While there are some exceptions to the rule, generally child support orders are made based on the result of the formula after plugging in factors such as child sharing percentage and the gross incomes of each parent. This often leads to child support orders that provide to the receiving parent far more child support than is needed to provide for the child’s living expenses given the custodial parent’s standard of living at the time the order is made.

The example of the professional athlete .

A well known example is the case of the millionaire professional athlete having a child with a woman of lesser means. At least in California, the millionaire athlete’s child support obligation to the mother could very well be in the tens of thousands of dollars per month providing the mother with a six figure income just like that–all non-taxable. Of course this amount of child support is far more than is required to provide for the needs of the child. However, the policy of the law in California regarding child support is that the child should share in the wealthy parent’s standard of living. The natural and necessary result of this policy is that the custodial parent then also gets the benefit of enjoying that higher standard of living.

The Court’s generally don’t monitor or dictate how child support is spent.

What is more interesting is that custodial parents receiving child support are not held accountable for the manner by which they spend the child support that they receive. “A common complaint that I hear from client’s paying on high child support orders is that the other parent isn’t spending the money on the children”, says John Griffith, a divorce lawyer in Encinitas, California. Granted if the child’s needs are not being met, the paying parent pay seek judicial intervention, but family law judges rarely scrutinize the spending habits of the custodial parent receiving child support.

There are always exceptions to the rule.

If you are paying child support and you believe that the amount may be too high based on the needs of your child and/or the way the money that you pay is being used, you are not without options. There are many not commonly used child support cases and statutes that may provide an avenue for relief. An experienced child support lawyer will be able to give you case specific advise on your options. If you find yourself in need of an experienced divorce or child support attorney call the offices of Griffith, Young & Lass for a free 30 minute consultation. 858-345-1720.

 

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

  • acfis
  • acfis
  • bear
  • bear
  • bear
The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego