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How is Child Support Determined?

In California, the court determines how much the noncustodial parent will pay every month to the custodial parent for the expense of raising their children. It is done based on the state’s guidelines and an examination of each party’s sources of income. Although this legal process seems clear-cut, it is also inherently emotional, which often makes this matter substantially challenging.

Child Support Requirements and Guidelines in California

To determine child support, the court will examine both parent’s net disposable income and the amount of time they each spend with the children. If one party pays spousal support or makes mandatory retirement contributions, these expenses will also be factored into the equation.

If either parent has multiple sources of income, a judge will examine this as well. Here are some additional sources of income that are factored into child support calculations:

  1. Tips, commissions, bonuses, and overtime
  2. Self-employment earnings
  3. Workers’ compensation benefits
  4. Stocks and dividends
  5. Pension and social security benefits
  6. Rental property income
  7. Interest earned on investments
  8. Prize winnings

Additionally, the amount of time each parent spends with the children will factor into the court’s decision. If the noncustodial parent spends a fair amount of time with the children, child support payments might not be too high. However, if the noncustodial parent hardly spends any time with the children, he or she will likely be ordered to pay a more sizeable amount of child support.

What is Included in Child Support?

Child support covers a vast range of expenses necessary for raising children.

Below are some of the expenses included in child support:

  1. Food, housing, clothing, basic education
  2. Child care
  3. Travel costs for visitation
  4. Health insurance
  5. Extracurricular activities, such as music lessons, sports, and field trips

Moreover, child support only lasts until the children reach the age of majority, graduate from high school, get married, joins the army, or are legally free in another way. However, if a child is disabled, the court might order both parents to continue to support their adult child if he or she cannot become self-sufficient. It is also possible to have the child support order modified if circumstances substantially change. For example, if the supporting parent is no longer employed, child support can be temporarily reduced until the parent finds a new job. If the children have greater needs, child support might be increased to support this change.

Schedule a Consultation with a Family Law Attorney Today!

Child support is often a heavily contested issue among divorcing parents, so it is crucial to hire knowledgeable legal assistance to ensure your children’s needs are met and the arrangement is fair. At Myers Family Law, our family law attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you accomplish the results you are seeking. Backed by more than two decades of experience, you can trust our team’s ability to represent you.

Contact us today at (916) 634-0067 to request a low-cost 30-minute consultation.

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Helping Families for 25+ Years