Mel Gibson Ordered to Pay $20,000 Per Month in Child Support – How is Child Support Calculated??

Mel Gibson was recently ordered to pay $20,000 per month in child support for his one year old daughter with Oksana Grigorieva. What, you might be asking yourself, does a one year old need with $20,000 each month? How did the Court conclude that Oksana should receive such a high amount of support?

Per the California Family Code, there is a statewide uniform guideline for child support calculations. Child support is based on the income of both parents, as well as the time spent with the child/children, among other factors. The Court may only deviate from the guideline if certain factors are found to exist. The reason Mel is likely paying such high child support is that California law specifically states that children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Per Family Code S4053, “child support may therefore appropriately improve the standard of living of the custodial household to improve the lives of the children.” Some argue that when support is based on the extraordinarily high income of one parent, it is essentially disguised spousal support. Or, in this case, ex-girlfriend support. However, because of the State guideline, high earning parents will most often end up paying very high amounts of child support which will greatly benefit the custodial parent, unless they can show that support exceeds the child’s needs. This is difficult to do, however, considering that the child IS entitled to enjoy the more affluent lifestyle of the supporting parent. This is exactly what Oksana argued in requesting an upward modification of child support. With regard to the child’s needs, Oksana reportedly stated that her daughter needs round-the-clock security, plus she was used to the “Mel Gibson” lifestyle. Obviously, the Judge agreed.

There are many issues surrounding setting and modifying child support. At Mello & Pickering, LLP we can inform you of your rights with regard to child support and assist you with obtaining appropriate orders. Call us at (408) 288-7800 for an initial consultation.

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