California Child Support Guidelines
In California, when creating a child support order, the courts look at several determining factors. You can also find child support calculators online that can give you an idea of how much child support you could potentially owe or be owed by your child’s other parent.
Parents do have the option to create their own child support agreement, but if they cannot agree on one, the court will use a calculation from the California Child support guideline to determine the amount owed in a child support order.
In California, child support is based on the parents’ ability to support the child and the child’s needs. It is determined based on the following factors.
• The amount of money each parent earns,
• The amount of other income each parent has,
• How many children the two parents have together,
• The child custody agreement and the amount of time the child spends with each parent,
• Any support the children receive from other relationships,
• The child’s expenses,
• Health insurance expenses,
• Mandatory expenses of either parent like retirement contributions,
• The parents’ tax filing statuses,
Why Does California Have Child Support Guidelines?
The child support guidelines in California exist to ensure that there is a minimum standard for child support for children so that expenses can be covered, and to provide one standard for all child support calculation in California. The guidelines also take into consideration the amount that the parents earn and can reasonably afford. However, parents may opt to pay more than the required amount.
Child support exists to ensure that children are financially supported by both parents. Child support guidelines can help create a child support order that works for all involved parties, and it ensures that both parents are held responsible for supporting their shared children.
All parents have an obligation to support minor children. The amount of support depends on the parent’s current financial situation and the child. Generally, the amount calculated by the child support guideline is assumed to be correct, and there are few exceptions when child support awarded will be below the amount suggested by the guidelines.
How Does the California Child Support Guideline Calculate Child Support?
If you use a child support calculator online, or actually apply the child support guidelines, it can be more complicated than simply listing the points mentioned above. Child support calculators use a complex formula to determine a dollar amount for each family’s child support.
To use the child support calculators, you will need to have some specific numbers, including the following:
• Each parent’s gross income,
• The percentage of time that each child spends with each parent, usually according to the child custody agreement,
• Possible tax deductions either parent could use,
• Mandatory deductions from either parent’s income, like insurance, retirement dues or union dues,
• Costs and expenses of child care incurred by either parent.
The formula used in California is as follows:
CS = K (HN - (H%)(TN))
CS = Child support amount. This is the answer for one child. If you have more than one child, this will need to be adjusted for multiple children.
K = The total income of both parents that is to used to pay for the costs of the child. The amount allocated by each parent depends on the parent’s financial situation and may not be equal for both parents.
HN = High net. The parent who has more disposable income will enter his or her net monthly disposable income here.
H% = The percentage of time that the parent who has more disposable income will be physically responsible for the child. This can depend on the child custody agreement, and whether one parent has sole physical custody, or the parents have joint physical custody.
TN = The total net income of both parents.
What are the Exceptions to the Child Support Guidelines in California?
The California child support guidelines calculate a standard minimum child support amount for California child support cases. The parents are always allowed to pay more than the amount calculated by the guidelines.
In very special cases, parents may be allowed to pay more or less than the amount calculated by the California child support calculator.
• If the parent who is ordered to pay child support has an extremely high income, and the amount calculated would be excessively more than the children require;
• If both parents spend about equal amounts of time with the child and the percentages of income each parent is required to pay differ by a large amount;
• If the children have special needs that require a higher amount.
What does California Child Support Pay For?
Parents are legally obligated to support their children financially. This can mean covering the costs of the child’s food, shelter and other basic needs, as well as extracurricular activities, education, healthcare, transportation, childcare, and more.
In some cases, parents can be required to pay for some additional costs that will benefit the child. These additional costs are called mandatory add ons, and discretionary add ons are to be shared equally between the parents.
Mandatory add ons can include costs for child care that are related to a parent’s employment or for a parent’s education or training that could lead to gainful employment, and reasonable costs related to health care for the child.
Discretionary add ons can include special needs or educational costs for the child or travel expenses incurred by the custodial parent for a child to attend visitation with a noncustodial parent.
Contact an Orange County Child Support Attorney
Calculating child support on your own and coming up with an amount that is fair to you, your child, and your child’s other parent can be complicated. Working with a child support attorney can help make the best child support agreement for your family.
In summary, the child support guideline calculator is frequently used in California to get a ball park idea of the amount of child support that may be requested. Child support in Orange County can be estimated by using the child support guideline calculator, which can be found online free of charge. The calculation of child support is only an estimate of the amount of child support that may be due. The judge will be the ultimate decision maker when it comes to assigning child support dues.
Child support factors in what the children's needs are. The needs will range from food, clothes, schooling expenses to any other expenses the judge deems necessary and important for the child. It is important to keep in mind that when an order is made, in the future you may attempt to modify this order. The judge will modify the child support order if there is a significant change in circumstances. For example, if you were previously working and were let go from your place of employment. In addition, if you were previously making a certain amount of money, but are now currently making a significant amount less than when the previous order was made, then these may be grounds for a modification of child support orders.
For additional information regarding child support and family law please contact your local Orange County family law attorney's. Please call Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000 for your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you with your family law matter.
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