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Good morning Charlie,Thank you for asking for me. The percentage figure doesn't give me enough information.What percentage of time are you assigned under the present order, and what will be the new percentage? Hours each week are even better.Doug
Hi Charlie, Thanks for the additional information. While there is the general rule that courts won't modify a child support order unless there has been a "material change of circumstances", there aren't any black and white guidelines for judging whether that material change of circumstances has occurred. Instead it is simply left up to the discretion of the judge.
However, the parenting time is only one small aspect of the child support calculation in CA. Much more important is the respective income of the parents. While form a purely mathematical basis, a single 10% overall change in parenting time will result in a small decrease in child support. For the typical couple, a change like the one you describe will usually only amount to a change of less than $25 to $50 a month, and depending on the incomes of the parents, sometimes much less than $25 a month. Because of this, there is a significant risk that any Modification Motion you make will not be successful. In fact a 10% change in respective incomes would generally have an impact many times greater than a similar percentage change in parenting time---so as you can see the relatively small change in parenting time is not typically a good justification for a Motion for Modification. I'm sorry. You may reply back to me again if you have additional questions, and I will continue to assist you. I wish you the best in your future, Doug
Hi Charlie, No, the financial records of your ex's boyfriend are privileged and not subject to subpoena. You can argue that she is cohabitating and that her expenses are therefore less---but the boyfriend’s finances are off-limits. However, there is a CA law allowing you to determine whether a change of financial circumstances has occurred so you can decide whether to apply for a support modification. Up to once a year after the divorce or support order, either of you can demand from the other that they provide you with a current income and expense declaration accompanied by her for last year. (CA Family Code sections 3663, 3664, 3665). If she doesn’t reply within 35 days and you seek a modification, the court can also issue monetary sanctions against her for the refusal. (CA Family Law sections 3664(b)-(f), 3667). You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction. I wish you the best in 2013, Doug
Hi Charlie, You wrote: Since she is no longer working out of her own free will. 1) Could I demand her to provide her income & expense declaration for the last year to prove to the judge that my child support be modified based on this fact? Because she is fully capable of working and making $2500/ mo. At the time Of divorce, she claimed unemployment income of $1400 and that is what child support is based off of currently. That's almst a 50% increase in her income if the judge would impute her capable income. The code section cited is for after the divorce decree is ordered by the court. It is for modifications of support. You are not yet to your decree and the discovery process---interrogatories, requests for production of documents----is how you seek this information now. You will want to serve formal discovery to get the income if she has not already provided it. If you have not sought to have income imputed yet, and the decree has not been issued, then you will want to do that before the final hearing and deal with the imputation of income. 2) if the final decree happened in December 2013, what's the earliest time I can go in and ask for the income and expense declaration from her to try and modify chid support? If the decree is issued this month (as you said Dec. 2013), then you will not likely be able to have a modification motion heard for at least a year. And the code cited allows you to go back a year after the decree and ask for the financial information. You may reply back to me again if you have additional questions, and I will continue to assist you. I wish you well in your future, Doug
Hi Charlie, You said: I plan on basing child support and child visitation modification off the fact that I have been seeing the kids not just from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening as in the final decree for the last 2 years but that I have actually been having them from Friday afternoon to Monday mornings along. On top of that, the Fact that she is still unemployed and that she is unemployed by choice, her income should be recalculated. She's capable of making double the amount that was imputed into the child support calculator. They imputed her unemployment income which expired in Feb 2013. And these are solid arguments for having the child support decreased next year, when you file for Modification. I thought it might be best to get it over with and deal with the modification next year. You have mentioned that before and I agree, it is a good strategy. Doug
Merry Christmas to you too, Charlie. I enjoy working with you and helping you to understand the law and the court system. It is always a pleasure to work with you! Doug
Now that I have a plan to send over my marital settlement agreement version to my ex's attorney, is there a specific was I have to send it to them?
Can I simply drop it off in the mailbox and wait to hear back from her attorney or do I have to have it delivered via certified mail? Since I am representing myself, I wanted to make sure I did it the correct way.
Hi Charlie, Thanks for thinking of me. Actually, if all you are doing is proposing something---like your proposed Marital Settlement Agreement, there is no need to do anything but get it to the attorney---first class mail---and you don't need a proof of service form. All you are doing at this point is negotiating. Regular mail is fine, or you can send it Priority and get a receipt to confirm delivery. Have a great New Year Charlie!! Doug
Hey Charlie, Don't expect to hear from the attorney for at least 15 to 30 days. He has to review it, meet with your soon-to-be-ex, perhaps prepare a counter offer and then send it to you. That is reality. There is no need to call them. Just give them some time so you don’t appear too anxious to get it done. Have a great evening Charlie!! Doug
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