You have heard that California divorce courts make child custody decisions based on the Best Interest Of The Child. Therefore, if mom is primarily available to raise a child and she's doing a good job, while dad is hard at work making a good income, then, while unfair to some, it's easy to see that the court will order primary physical custody of the child to mom. Further, the court would order dad to pay a significant amount of child support. However, what if mom does something that causes mom to lose much of her custody time to dad? Would the court still order dad to pay a significant amount of child support to mom? As a San Diego Certified Family Law Specialist attorney, much of my time is spent in reading new cases and following changes in family law and child custody law. In researching, I came across an appellate court decision at the same time pop celebrity news was circulating the story of Jon Cryer's failed attempt to substantially lower his child support. This celebrity divorce story combines all of the elements of interesting news and legitimate legal education as to California child custody and support law. Actor Jon Cryer divorced Sarah Trigger in 2004. Reportedly, after a change of the custody order where Sarah only has a four (4) percent time share with the child, Jon motioned the court to terminate or greatly reduce his child support order. His motion failed; he appealed and lost. Why? When the divorce judgment was entered in 2006, Sarah had a 65% time share of the child and Jon (actor on the popular Two and a Half Men TV show) was ordered to pay $10,000 per month in child support. Within a few years after the divorce, the court intervened and removed the child from Sarah pursuant to a report (and evidence presented) regarding neglect. Jon requested that his child support order be lowered to zero as Sarah, for all practical purposes, no longer was raising the child. The court reduced Sarah's child support from $10,000 per month to $8,000 per month even though her custody time had been reduced from 65% to 4%. Jon appealed however was he overlooking the factors of the child's "best interest" and his overall income available for support?
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