How does a judge determine the amount of child support to be paid in a high asset divorce?

By Leslie J. Shaw
January 11, 2018
How does a judge determine the amount of child support to be paid in a high asset divorce?

The child support guidelines in each state serve a different purpose. But in both states judges are empowered to depart from the guideline to meet the needs of a child, whose needs will not be properly supported by a blind application of the product of the guideline. The courts will look at the lifestyle that the child has enjoyed, the courts will certainly look at the income and the assets of the parents.

The court will afford the children in both states the benefit of the financial abilities of both parents to enjoy what the parents can provide them in terms of support. There was a judge who said that the son of the chimney sweep has the needs of a pauper, and the son of king has the needs of a prince. And by my experience family law judges will depart and at times, as required by law, and make appropriate findings of fact for departing from the guidelines to meet the relative needs of children based upon the wealth and the affluence of their parents.

Leslie Shaw practices family law in both California and Nevada, and has been involved in close to 1,000 family law matters largely involving litigation throughout his 40 year career. He is also a Certified Family Law Attorney, a status granted by the California Board of Legal Specialization. To learn more about Leslie and his practice, please visit

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January 11, 2018
Categories:  FAQs

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