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Author Topic: Child Support Mod  (Read 1072 times)

gas

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Child Support Mod
« on: Jun 06, 2006, 09:35:41 PM »
Hello Socrates,

Orange County, CA


If either party request a modification of child support (on basis that relative incomes have significantly changed since court order of 3 yrs ago), how far back does the court look to determine income basis?  i.e., just last year's W'2's or average of past 3 years or ?

thank you.


socrateaser

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RE: Child Support Mod
« Reply #1 on: Jun 06, 2006, 10:00:56 PM »
>Hello Socrates,
>
>Orange County, CA
>
>
>If either party request a modification of child support (on
>basis that relative incomes have significantly changed since
>court order of 3 yrs ago), how far back does the court look to
>determine income basis?  i.e., just last year's W'2's or
>average of past 3 years or ?
>

The question is controlled by the case of marriage of riddle, which basically states that the court must attempt to make an award that reasonably predicts future income.

The rule gives the court considerable discretion as to what documentation it will consider, because different jobs create different earning patterns, as to different people at different stages of their career.

Generally, for the typical employed person with regular income, not commission, and not seasonal, the court need look no farther back than last years tax return, and the three most recent pay stubs, which is the minimum required by the state authorized judicial counsel financial declaration forms. The financial declaration requires each parent to state current income and expense items as well as 12 month averages.

So, if the case is filed in January, then almost all 12 months will be reflected on the parties' respective 1040 return. If the case is filed in December, then the prior year's 1040 will reflect almost nothing relevant to the I&E declaration, and so it is reasonable that if the three most recent pay stubs do not reflect approximately the same sort of numbers reported on the prior year 1040, that some additional discover may be in order.

But, the court will not order it, unless the discrepancy is substantial (no rule, just if something looks funny, then it probably is). It's up to the litigants to order more discovery and ask for a postponement. Otherwise, request more discover, otherwise the court will just rule on the one tax return and the three most recent pay stubs.

 

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