Legal Question in Family Law in California

I am the Mom and I work, I was not married to my sons father who has not had a job in 6 years. I have my son 4 days a week. My son is 8 years old. Would I have to pay child support? It has never been brought up in court yet.

Asked on 5/05/13, 7:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

From the situation you describe, probably yes if he asks for it. Support is determined by a complex formula that arrives at your "available" income for support. A percentage of that is then allocated to child support. Then whatever percentage of time you do not have the child is the percentage of the amount allocated to child support that you pay the other parent. So using simplified numbers, if your available income is 1000/mo, and you are in the 33% child support bracket, you owe $333 to support. If you then have the child 67% of the time, you owe $111 to the other parent. The same calculation is done on the other parent's income. Say they have available income of $333/mo., they owe $111 to support, and they have 33% custodial time. They would owe you $37/mo. Deduct that from the $111 you owe them and the final result is you pay them $74/mo. Of course if the other parent's income is $0, then you would owe the full $111.

There is an additional twist, however. When ordering support paid to a non-working parent, the court can, and on request pretty much always will, either issue a "find work" order that will require the non-working parent to make specified efforts to find a job and report to the court periodically with proof of the efforts, OR (since a find work order must be voluntary due to the 13th Amendment) the court can order that support be calculated on "imputed" income, meaning the court will pretend the non-working parent is earning what the court finds they COULD earn if they were working. So if this comes to a court proceeding, you must remember to ask for a find work order or imputed income.

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Answered on 5/05/13, 9:23 am

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