The divorce laws in San Diego may be different from those in Arizona, according to a recent article depicting the latest drama in the unfolding Nash-Amarilla family break up. Steve Nash's ex-wife, Alejandra Amarilla, currently lives in Arizona with the couple's three children. Nash successfully convinced a judge there to deny Amarilla child support, arguing that she already received millions in the divorce settlement. Under Arizona law, no child support is required if the adjusted incomes of both parents are relatively equal. There has been some speculation that if she moves to California, Amarilla would have another opportunity to seek child support from Nash from the local courts.
In most states, "child support" consists of the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay each month for the child's (or children's) support and living expenses. California has a statewide formula (known as a "guideline") for determining how much child support should be awarded. Parents may first attempt to agree on an appropriate amount, but if they cannot, the judge will decide the child support amount based on the guideline calculation.
The guideline calculation takes into account the following items (among others): the amount of money the parents earn or have the ability to earn; any other income each parent receives; the amount of time each parent spends with the children; the number of children the parents have together; whether the children receive any support from other relationships; each parent's tax filing status; health insurance costs; expenses associated with daycare and uninsured health-care costs; and any mandatory union fees or retirement contributions.
In the Nash divorce, Amarilla is claiming that her ex-husband will not let her move to California so that he can avoid paying child support. Nash was granted a restraining order barring Amarilla from relocating with her children to Los Angeles. According to another news article, Nash previously convinced the Arizona divorce judge that his wife didn't need child support because the divorce awarded her millions and that she also receives approximately $30,000 per month. Amarilla is appealing the ruling. She has argued that Nash makes a million dollars more than her every month, and that he should be required to spend some of that money on their children. Nash claims to be paying 90% of the children's medical, school and extracurricular activities, as well as 82% of the nanny's salary. According to reports, Nash has said that his ex-wife spends money excessively, and if he is gives her more, she will spoil the children with too many luxuries.
The worrisome part of this widely publicized divorce proceeding is the effect it will have on the children. By battling with his ex-wife over child support payments and fighting to have her remain in another state with the children is sending a disturbing message.
In California, the guideline calculation system affords a somewhat predictable measure by which parents can estimate the child support payments that will be awarded. The best course of action in any divorce case in this state is to contact an experienced family law attorney who understands the intricacies of the local court rules and procedures.