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Where Child Support Departs from Guideline Child Support, the Divorce Court Must Justify the Departure in Writing or on the Record

This divorce involved two well-paid professional parents with a single child. The parents and court met in chambers, off the record, and the divorce court eventually issued a child support order that deviated from the child support guideline, which the husband’s Orange County divorce lawyer appealed.  The Court of Appeal noted that while the divorce court may deviate from guideline, the divorce court must explain the reasons for the deviation either in writing or on the record pursuant to Family Code section 4056. The Court of Appeal agreed with husband’s divorce attorney and reversed the divorce court and stressed, “[t]he importance of Being Articulate” in regards to child support orders.

In re Marriage of Hall (2000) 81 Cal. App. 4th 314