Child Support

Child Support

Basics

Child support is the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay every month to help pay for the support of the child (or children) and the child’s living expenses. Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and cannot support themselves). Each parent is equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of his or her child. But the court cannot enforce this obligation until it makes an order for support.

How to Calculate Child Support

California has a statewide formula (called a “guideline”) for figuring out how much child support should be paid. If parents cannot agree on child support, the judge will decide the child support amount based on the guideline calculation.
The guideline calculation depends on:

  • How much money the parents earn or can earn;
  • How much other income each parent receives;
  • How many children these parents have together;
  • How much time each parent spends with their children (time-share);
  • The actual tax filing status of each parent;
  • Support of children from other relationships;
  • Health insurance expenses;
  • Mandatory union dues;
  • Mandatory retirement contributions;
  • The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured health-care costs; and
  • Other factors.

The child support order may also require the parents to share the costs for:

  • Child care to allow the parent to work or to get training or schooling for work skills;
  • Children’s reasonable health-care expenses;
  • Traveling for visitation from 1 parent to another;
  • Children’s educational needs; and
  • Other special needs.

The guideline amount is presumed to be correct. The judge can only order something other than the guideline amount in very limited situations. To estimate how much child support the judge may order in your case, go to California Guideline Child Support Calculator.

Contact Dream Law today for a free consultation on the facts of your case!

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Pasadena, CA 91101

*Source: www.courts.ca.gov

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