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If court can't use new spouse's income for child support, why is that information requested on the financial forms?


Your Question:
Thank you very much for your insightful answers. God bless...

I was looking at your answer on discovery and I have a question to ask.

In live in CA and based on my initial question from you, I would like to go for child support modification.

I have two questions to ask you:

1- In CA child modification forms there is a question asking about your liquid assets and bonds. I am married to a working wife. We have some bonds in both names. Can I assume that those bonds are hers and not claim them as my assets in those forms? Or should split them in half and claim it that way?

2- Earlier I asked you about the income of existing spouse for child support calculation and you mentioned that it does not impact the CS calculation. When I look at the child support forms, FL-155, one last question on the form is:

"Current Spouse Monthly Income" If they don't care about her income, why are they asking the question?

Thanks again for answering our questions.

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My Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for the kind words.

I know when my brain doesn't have enough info to answer intelligently, and so I'll plead that on how to split your assets in your current marriage. You'll need to ask an attorney.

On to your second question-- if the stepparent's income is irrelevant in determining child support, why is it requested on the form?

The court generally has discretion in many areas when it comes to financial matters. They include, but aren't limited to, assigning who pays who's attorney fees, sanctions, spousal support, additional support for specific needs (e.g., education), etc.

They exercise discretion after examining each party's financial situation, and that one form is the one used for many financial matters.

Child support is generally NOT an area where the court has discretion, unless is it for special circumstances outlined by the court upon its ruling.

Also, when a parent gets newly married, the newly married couple now have a combined household income. In many cases, the combined income pushes the household into a higher tax bracket than would be the case if the parent remained single. So, the Dissomaster (i.e., the software that calculates child support in California) takes spousal income into consideration in the event that the parent now has greater tax liabilities (i.e., net income is slightly less).

In California, only the parents' incomes and custodial time split are factored into child support. This is because a judge has no authority to order your wife to support a child that isn't hers.

That's our lesson for the day. :)

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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