Child support in a high-asset divorce

Although California family laws are one size fits all, high-asset divorces are notoriously messier because there are more resources to fight over. The appraisal, separation and distribution of multiple assets are one thing, but high wealth individuals may be on the hook for a larger amount of money under the standard child support equations.  However, you may have the opportunity to alter that outcome.

How is child support different?

California child support services follow a set of guidelines to calculate the amount of child support based on a parent’s income. However, a certain stipulation in California Family Code 4057 indicates that this fixed formula may not be applicable if the amount computed is more than what the child actually needs.

The extraordinarily high-income parent who wants to challenge the formula must file a request to deviate from the child support guidelines. They now carry the burden to prove to the court the following:

  • How much is their income, and why that amount classifies as extraordinarily high?
  • How much will the child support be if the court approves the deviation?
  • How will the deviated amount meet all the needs of the child?
  • How the non-guideline amount is for the best interests of the child?

It is up to the court to decide if the evidence provided by the high-income earner can substantiate their request to reduce child support payments.

The child’s lifestyle must not change

The key factor that will greatly affect a court’s decision is that the child’s lifestyle during the marriage of their parents must be the same even after the parents’ divorce. Money cannot replace the time and love you give to your child.