Los Angeles, CA asked in Divorce for California

Q: My wife is divorcing me in California. She says she wants child support + 40% of my income as maintenance.

She quit her job earning $100k, and now works p/t making half that. I'm in sales earning commission only, and earned less than $50k last year. Can she get 40% of my income?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ute Ferdig
Ute Ferdig
  • Newcastle, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Child support is based on the time share (i.e., time each parent spends with the children) and respective incomes. Earning capacity is also considered in child support calculations, which means that the court, under certain circumstances, can impute income to a parent who purposely is underemployed. There could, however be legitimate reasons for your ex to be working only part-time. If the children are young, she may be doing it to provide child care instead of paying someone else to pay for it. If she were to go to work full time to make more money, you would have to share in the child care expenses, which could cost you more than what you'd save by reducing your child support obligation as a result of her making more money. You should have an attorney run some child support calculations to give you an idea of how much difference it would make if she worked full time.

Spousal support is not a fixed percentage of the income of the spouse who pays the spousal support. Spousal support calculation is governed by Family Code section 4320. There are a number of factors that the court will take into consideration. Length of marriage,standard of living, earning capacity and need for support are just a few of the things the court will take into consideration.

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