Determining Support

Protecting Your Financial Future

When spouses divorce or separate, the issue that often raises the greatest anxiety and controversy is how much you will pay or receive in support — whether it be child support or spousal support.

Our firm is well-versed not just in the basic issues of support, but in navigating and resolving the most complex issues facing spouses and parents in determining the legally and factually appropriate amount of support. These issues include:

  • The determination of the amount of business income available for the payment of support;
  • Identifying and appropriately accounting for “phantom income” when a party is taxed on income that is not distributed by a pass-through entity;
  • Working with vocational evaluators and labor market researches to determine when, and how much, income should be imputed to an unemployed or under-employed spouse;
  • The appropriate treatment of equity compensation (options, RSUs, ISOs, etceteras) in determining income for support purposes; and
  • Handling deviations from child support guidelines as a result of the payor being an exceptionally high earner.

How Much Back Child Support is a Felony in California?

In California, failure to pay child support can be a felony if the parent owes more than $2,500 in back payments and has been more than 90 days late in making payments. The parent may also be charged with a felony if they have been convicted of a previous felony related to child support.

If a parent faces charges with a felony for failing to pay child support, they could face up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, they may also be ordered to pay restitution to the custodial parent for the amount of back child support owed.

A parent can do several things to avoid facing charges with a felony for failing to pay child support. These include:

  • Making all child support payments on time.
  • Contact the child support enforcement agency if they cannot make a payment.
  • Applying for a modification of their child support order if their financial circumstances have changed.
  • Seeking help from our Bay Area child support lawyer if they face criminal charges for failing to pay child support.

Experience that Matters

Our attorneys routinely encounter, analyze, and resolve these and other family law issues relating to determining child and spousal support. We author extensive articles and conduct trainings on support-related issues throughout the state. That depth of experience and knowledge assist both support-paying and support-receiving clients in protecting their financial futures.

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