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Basic child support in California is a complicated formula. This formula takes into account a number of factors including but not limited to-gross income, time share, and tax deductions. The calculation results in what is known as Guideline Child Support. Guideline Child Support is for the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, and clothing.

Is Guideline Child Support Mandatory?

For judges deciding child support matters, the answer is practically. The Legislature has limited a Judge’s ability to detour from guideline child support. Instead of arguing about the amount of support itself, in court, you will often hear attorneys arguing over what numbers to put into the support calculator. In a few situations, the Judge will vary from the guideline, but it is rare and usually only applies in situations where one party is very low income.

So are couples in mediation bound by guideline?

Parties may stipulate to an amount of child suppor that is not guideline. To appease the Judge who ulimately has to sign off on your final divorce judgment, we will calculate guideline child support. But once calculated, we can work together to determine whether that number will actually meet the children’s needs.

In Mediation, we work together to ensure the children’s needs are met

The truth of the matter is that California child support guidelines are often high and do not take into account many of the parties financial obligations. One of the greatest benefits of mediation is the ability to spend time exploring solutions that the court’s cannot or will not consider. Together we work on providing for your children in a manner commesurate with your lifestyle while also looking for ways to maximize the benefits afforded to you by your employers, the debts that each of you is taking from the marriage, and facts unique to your individual case so that we can find a support number that keeps the kids feed, clothed, and housed with both parents. Sometimes that results in an above guideline order and sometimes a below guideline order.

By treating divorce as a problem to solve rather than a war to fight, you provide numerous benefits to your children–emotionally and financially. Do not wait another day or waste another dollar battling. Let me show you better way. Schedule your Free Divorce Mediation Evaluation call today.

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