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Income Disclosures in California Divorce Cases – In re Marriage of Atchison

When a court decides whether and how much spousal and child support to award in a California divorce case, one of the first things that it looks at is the income that each of the divorcing spouses has coming in. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for parties to a divorce case to provide a full and accurate record of their respective financial situations. A recent case out of the Fourth District Court of Appeals is another reminder that your opportunities to provide that information are limited.

new-5-1474097Husband and Wife were married more than five years and had three children before Husband filed for divorce in 2013. Husband, a surgeon, said he was making about $33,000 per month at the time. After Wife sought custody of the children and both child and spousal support, however, Husband said just one month later that he was actually bringing in about $18,000 per month. A trial court stuck with the original income estimate and ordered Husband to pay Wife nearly $6,000 per month in spousal and child support. It later raised the total support amount to more than $9,000 per month.

On appeal, Husband argued that the trial court incorrectly determined that his monthly income was more than $33,500, when it was actually about $32,000. The Fourth District affirmed the decision, finding in part the Husband hadn’t provided the financial information requested by the lower court. Even if the trial court had been wrong, however, the Court also said there was no reason to believe that it resulted in a miscarriage of justice. It said there was no indication that the trial court would have actually reduced the support payment if it had calculated Husband’s monthly income at $32,000, rather than $33,500.

The Court also rejected Husband’s claim that he wasn’t sufficiently notified of the amount that Wife was seeking in support because she didn’t specify an amount in her original request for support. The Court noted that Husband never raised the issue, even though he had attended various hearings related to the support request. “It is well settled that the appearance of a party at the hearing of a motion and his or her opposition to the motion on its merits is a waiver of any defects or irregularities in the notice of motion,” the Court observed.

If you’re considering seeking a divorce in California or grappling with spousal support and other issues after a divorce, contact San Jose divorce lawyer John S. Yohanan. With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Yohanan is an accomplished family law attorney who has helped a number of clients resolve spousal support and a wide variety of other issues on optimal terms. Call our office at (408) 297-0700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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Getting Divorced in California? Another Reason Why You Need a Lawyer – In re Marriage of Hendrix

Proving Change of Circumstances in Child Support Cases – In re Marriage of Cereghino

The ‘Clean Hands’ Requirement in California Child Support Cases – In re Marriage of Boswell