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California Child Support and High Net Worth Parents pt 7

Legal Considerations


Determining what is “enough” has long been the discussion in family courts. There have been numerous cases in which high-net-worth parents argued about what was considered “enough” or “too much” for child support. These cases have shaped the way the court analyzes and calculates the child’s right to receive support from both of their parents. With high-net-worth parents and/or a high-income parent, the decision for support departs from a formulaic measurement and evolves into a layered approach to child support. The question of “if” the court can deviate from the guidelines has brought many families to court. The following cases have addressed the common claims made about child support in California when high-net-worth was involved in the calculation:


In re Marriage of Schmir (2005)

This California case involved a high-income parent, and it addressed the court's ability to deviate from the statewide uniform guideline formula in child support calculations. The court considered factors such as the child's needs, the parents' standard of living, and the substantial income of one parent.


In re Marriage of Ackerman (2006)

This case dealt with the issue of imputed income for a high-income parent who was voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. The court had to determine whether the parent's income should be imputed at a higher level based on their earning capacity.


In re Marriage of Whealon (1997)

While not specific to high-net-worth parents, this case is significant for its clarification of the standard for child support calculations in California. It established the principle that child support should be calculated based on the parents' net disposable income.

In re Marriage of Olson (1993)

This case addressed the issue of income fluctuation for high-income parents, particularly those with variable earnings. It considered how to calculate child support when a parent's income varied significantly from year to year.


In re Marriage of Mosley (2008)

This case highlighted the court's authority to consider extraordinary expenses when calculating child support, particularly in situations involving high-income parents. The court discussed whether certain costs should be considered in addition to basic child support.

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