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Divorce Wizards

High Conflict Divorce Mediation

FAQ: How to Get the Child and Spousal Support that You Need

Divorce Wizards

Q.How are Child and Spousal Support Determined?
California has guidelines to determine child support and temporary spousal support. The guidelines for child support are based on the income of both parties and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The Courts use a computer program called Dissomaster or X-Spouse to determine the guideline child support. Spousal support is also calculated by the same computer program but is subject to greater interpretation by the Judge who must also consider other factors in determining the amount of spousal support such as the life style of the marriage, the ability to pay, the ability to earn, need for support and so on.
Q.When do support payments begin?
Child and spousal support payments begin with either a court order or mutual agreement of the parties. You and your spouse can agree to begin the support payments prior to the judgment being final (temporary support). If you aren't in agreement, the party desiring support can file a motion with the court to begin temporary child and spousal support. When your divorce is final, you will have a court order (judgment) for more permanent support.
Q.How can I change the support amount I'm getting?
You may go back to the court to change (modify) the child support if there is a change in circumstances. Here are a few examples of a change in circumstances: significant changes to either party's income, the birth of another child; a change in the time share arrangement.
Q.My ex refuses to pay support until our divorce is final. I can't wait this long!
You may go to court filing an "Order to show Cause" motion to order your spouse to pay support. If you still can't collect, you can file a wage assignment with his employer so checks will be garnished.
Q.We agree on a change in support Do we still need to go to court?
No. You will need to file an agreement with the court. No hearing would be necessary but filing fees would.
Q.I'm not seeing my child enough. How do I get a better visitation plan?
You will need to file an "Order to show Cause" with the court to change your visitation. You will be required to attend court mediation to resolve these issues. If that is not successful, you would have a hearing and go from thereā€¦ probably to a 730 Custody Evaluation.
Q.Can I represent myself in court?
Sure. But remember, a person who represents himself has a fool for an attorney. You probably don't know the rules of the game and if the other side shows up with an attorney, you will be at a tremendous disadvantage. Judges also frown on lack of counsel which will work against you. Having said that, if you feel confident in going to court without counsel, we can prepare the necessary documents for you and schedule a court date on your behalf.
Q.What should I do to get started?
If you would like to proceed to represent yourself in this legal matter, please enter your information on our Order to Show Cause form. We will complete the first set of documents for your signature. We will then file them with the court and reserve a hearing date for you. After your hearing, we will complete the final documentation for you.

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