Both parents are responsible for the financial support of all of their children until the children reach the age of 18. If the child or children are still in school at the age of 19, and still live at home and are unable to provide their own support, it is up to the parents to provide that support.
The state of California mandates the amount of child support that is paid from one parent to the other. The amount is figured by the computer generating of the payer’s financial status. The parent’s income, the amount of taxes that they pay, the amount of time that the parent has with the child, mandatory items that are deductible such as health insurance and retirement and the custodial parent’s ability to earn and their income are the main factors that determine the amount of child support to be paid. Child support can be altered should financial changes occur with the parent paying the support, or if the time share between the two parents should change at any time.
Calculating the amount to be paid is easy to do by simply entering the factors into a computer. The hard part is coming up with a parent’s factual income. Should the parent be self employed, it makes it even harder to come up with their true income. When you add trying to calculate the income with taxes to be paid and other details, it takes someone with knowledge of the tax structure who really knows how to use the guidelines to calculate it accurately. At Minella Law Group, we are experts in the field of analyzing the financial statements of both parents. We work hard to keep the lines of communication open and all parties on the same page so that the issue of factual income doesn’t become heated.
Both parents may agree on a level of support that differs from the calculated guideline as long as the needs of the child/children and certain other particulars are being met. Both parents will also be expected to share in the cost of dental and medical bills that are not covered by insurance. This will be an equal cost for both parents. Should the children require childcare while the custodial parent is working, the amount paid will also be equally divided between both parents.
The parent that pays child support will not be allowed to claim the support paid as a tax deduction. The parent that receives the child support will not have to claim the support as reportable income. However, we can help guide you so that the IRS will allow you to characterize both spousal alimony and child support, which will benefit the parent who pays child support. California law refers to alimony as family support whereas the IRS refers to it as alimony. With our experience, we can guide you through the process to help you make better decisions regarding tax implications. Our tax consultants can help clarify the technical details regarding the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations should we require an expert opinion.
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