To assist in a child’s living expenses, California has established laws to provide court ordered amounts of money that a parent or both parents are required to pay. This is called child support. In California, the financial support of his or her child is the duty of every parent. Either parent may request child support from the other as part of a family law action such as a legal separation, divorce or paternity. Requests for child support may also be requested through the Orange County Department of Child Support Services.
How is Child Support Determined?
Under the laws in California a formula has been established for the amount of child support to be paid. This is called “guideline” child support.
Child Support can either be agreed upon based on the guideline calculation or determined by a Judge.
Guideline factors for child support include:
- The amount of minor children;
- The custodial and visitation time the parents spend with each child;
- Income and earnings of both of the parties;
- Other income received by each of the parents, such as investment income and rental income;
- The number of children from the relationship;
- Tax filing status of each parent, such as Head of Household, Single, Married filing Separately, etc.
- Health Insurance paid by the parents
- Property tax deductions and other tax deductions
- Required retirement contributions and union dues.
- Daycare expenses
- Uninsured health-care costs and other factors.
Other forms of Child Support
Child support orders may also include sharing expenses for the following:
- Child-care for employment-related purposes;
- Traveling expenses for the purposes of visitation
- Health-care expenses including uninsured health care costs and insurance coverage.
In limited circumstances, the judge has discretion to order something other than the guideline support however, the guideline amount is presumed to be correct. (See California Family Code sections 4052 and 4057 for additional information).
Child Support Calculator:
The State of California provides free access to a Guideline Child Support Calculator which is provided below for your reference:
Support modifications can be brought by either the paying spouse or the spouse receiving support payments under certain circumstances such as when there has been a change in circumstances since the original support order was entered. Have you had a decrease in your income? Has your spouses’ income increased? Are you now caring for your children more than when your support order was entered? All of these are important questions that need to be discussed and handled with care when dealing with a support modification. Our attorneys are experienced with issues regarding these types of modifications and can assist you in either seeking a reduction of support or fighting to maintain your current support order if a reduction has been requested.
If you are interested in obtaining a support order or finding out how to reduce your current child support order, the attorneys at Masson & Fatini, LLP can help, contact our office to speak with our experienced staff.