Tuesday, February 11, 2014

8 Things You Didn't Know About the Ladies of Levine Law (Part 2)

We got such a great response from Part 1 of this blog, we thought we'd share a bit about our newest associate, Sophia Wood Henderson. While Sophia's our newest addition to the team at Levine Law Group, she is no stranger to Family Law, having several years of experience in the field. Her primary focus has been litigating child custody matters and serving clientele with complex mental health issues. 

She's not your 'typical' lawyer, and we couldn't be more pleased. We think you will be too. 

From Sophia:
  • I love eating weird food. I have eaten birds’ nest soup (the saliva of birds is steamed off their nests and served with raw egg) and fried locusts.
  • I have been diving with sharks in open water.
  • I learned how to spell by spelling words backwards.
  • I dislike planes, but enjoy skydiving.
  • There was a time as a child when every night at the dinner table my parents made all the children (our friends included) stand up and conjugate verbs on a giant chalkboard.
  • I am a classically trained violinist.
  • I wish I had been born a Marx Brother. I own all of their movies (on VHS and DVD), and fancy myself an amateur Groucho Marx impersonator.  
  • I have appeared as an extra in an HBO television series and several independent films

Monday, February 3, 2014

Will child support change when I get remarried?

Charlie Sheen pays over $100,000 per month in child support to his ex's.
'Is my new spouse's income taken into account for purposes of calculating child support?'

While we find that many of California's family laws are common sensical, this issue is not. Unfortunately, the legal answer often ends up causing one parent serious frustration and a feeling of injustice.

For purposes of calculating guideline child support, a new spouse's income may not be considered by a court when establishing or modifying a child support order. An 'extraordinary case' is often times very difficult to prove and exists only 'where excluding that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child subject to the child support award.'

Now, the income of the step-parent is considered for the limited purpose of determining the tax liability of the payee parent. Since the new spouse's income may push the payor parent to a higher tax bracket, the payor spouse actually takes home less money from their own earnings. Since guideline child support takes into account net income, this may result in a decrease in the amount of child support owed to the payee.

Say what?

Here's another example. You are the payor parent. Your ex remarries a wealthy spouse. Your ex seeks to modify support. You may actually have to pay more support to the custodial parent since s/he is now in a higher tax bracket (by virtue of her high earning spouse) and therefore theoretically has less 'net' (after tax) income of her own. In other words, the payee parent gets to have her/his cake and eat it too. A tough pill to swallow for may non custodial parents. 

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be other laws that apply to your circumstances, allowing you to modify your support obligation. Contact Levine Law Group for a child support strategizing session. 

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