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Newport Beach Child Support Lawyers

Representing Clients in Child Support Cases in Orange County

A white block cutout of a family stands in front of a gavel, symbolizing child support.Child support laws have been enacted to ensure that children are financially supported by their parents in the event of a divorce.

Under California family law, every parent has a duty to provide sufficient monetary support to ensure the safety and welfare of their children in terms of housing, clothing, medical care, schooling, and other necessities. Official guidelines are used to calculate child support payments based on various factors. Despite this, parents who are in disagreement about the matter may find themselves in need of legal counsel.

At Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, our Newport Beach child support attorneys have helped innumerable individuals resolve a wide variety of complex and contentious family law issues, including child support.

Whether you are seeking to obtain a fair child support arrangement, looking to enforce one that the other party has failed to uphold, modify existing orders, or have other issues concerning this matter, we have the experience and resources you need. Our Newport Beach child support lawyers are experienced negotiators and trial practitioners can apply a vast array of skills and legal knowledge to your case in pursuit of a fair resolution.

Contact us online or call us at (949) 229-8546 today if you need a Newport Beach child support attorney. Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara serves all of Orange County!

How Child Support Is Determined in Newport Beach, CA

A parent has a legal duty to provide their child with adequate financial support to secure living expenses, such as clothing, shelter, education, and healthcare. The duty to pay child support arises from the legal parent-child relationship.

Typically, a parent fulfills their duty to provide financial support to their child by sheltering the child and paying for housing, groceries, medical, and school expenses. Most children who live with their parents have their needs fulfilled. However, when a parent does not live with their child or shares custody—due to a legally recognized custody arrangement between divorced or otherwise separated parents—that parent must pay child support to satisfy this legal duty.

Ordinarily, the parent who doesn’t live with the child sends child support payments to the parent who lives with the child. A parent’s child support obligation depends on relative income, the number of children, and the specific needs of the child. Under California law, courts determine a parent’s child support obligation based on particular guidelines provided under the California Family Code § 4052.

In Orange County, child support is calculated by a statewide formula that takes into account a variety of factors related to both parents. These factors include:

  • The income of both parents
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • Childcare expenses
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Mortgage interest
  • Property taxes
  • Tax exemptions
  • Other expenses that have a bearing on the finances of both parents, including hardships

Calculating child support in Newport Beach can be a very complex matter, especially in the case of complicated income sources, self-employment, and other financial factors that can be difficult to calculate. Our team of child support attorneys in Newport Beach has experience in handling all of these factors when it comes to arriving at a fair settlement.

Is Child Support Fair? Can Child Support Take an Entire Paycheck?

While it often feels unfair, child support is intended to be fair in that it holds both parents responsible for the care of their children. One parent cares for the children (the custodial parent) while one parent pays for their needs (the non-custodial parent).

So, how much child support will you be required to pay in Orange County? Can child support take your entire paycheck? No, child support will not take your entire paycheck, but you will be required to pay a percentage of your income based on the number of children you are supporting and the amount of parenting time you spend with them.

Child Support Obligations for High Earners

Courts are not bound to strictly follow the statutory guidelines for determining child support. Under certain circumstances, a court has discretion as to whether a deviation from guideline child support is appropriate in any given case. When one parent qualifies as an extraordinarily high earner, for example, a court can deviate from California’s child support guidelines.

The Family Code does not define what an “extraordinarily high earner” is, and thus, courts have discretion to determine who qualifies. A court may evaluate a parent’s earnings compared to the standard of living for a particular area. Although $100,000 may not mean a lot in Los Angeles, for example, that amount may be considered excessive in other cities in California.

Once someone is classified as a high earner, they are obligated to share their fortune with their children. California courts have rationalized that the duty to pay child support involves more than providing “the mere necessities of life” in cases when the parent can afford to pay more.

In cases where the child has grown accustomed to the standard of living the high earner provided before a divorce, the court has ordered the affluent parent to pay enough support allowing the child to continue enjoying that living standard.

Imputing Income in Child Support Proceedings

A parent’s child support obligation requires an examination of their financial condition. A parent must demonstrate the nature of their financial status by submitting an Income & Expense Declaration (FL-150) with supporting documents.

However, a court has discretion to consider other evidence to essentially assign to the parent an income level for purposes of determining child support, despite what was declared on an Income & Expense Declaration. This process is known as “imputing” income.

Courts have considered the following factors when imputing income for child support determinations:

  • The parent’s earning capacity, factoring their age, occupation, skill set, education, experience, qualifications, and health;
  • The parent’s willingness to work as shown through meaningful attempts to find employment;
  • Opportunities to work under the relevant conditions of the job market.

For example, a parent who was licensed to practice law but works at a café as a barista may be subject to an imputed income more commensurate with an attorney’s earnings.

Speak with a Child Support Attorney in Newport Beach Today

Our Newport Beach child support lawyers know how stressful a child support dispute can be in regard to your peace of mind, finances, and concerns for your child. Our team is committed to helping you meet your goals and reach a resolution that is in your child’s best interests. We believe in and strive for ethical, creative, and thoughtful solutions to your family law matter.

Call us at (949) 229-8546 or contact us online today for a consultation with a child support lawyer in Newport Beach! We serve all of Orange County.

Why Hire Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara, LLP?

  • Experience with Complex, High-Value Cases

  • Highly Awarded by Prestigious Associations

  • Thoughtful, Competent Representation

  • Four Certified Family Law Specialists

  • Experienced Trial Attorneys

  • Experienced Trial Attorneys