OC California Child Support Determination
Under California law, both parents of a child have a duty to support their child financially. Whether one parent or both parents are obligated to pay child support depends on the child custody situation, the parents’ financial situations, and the child’s needs, among other things.
Child support is meant to provide for a child’s basic needs, like food, clothing, healthcare and education.
There are several ways that child support orders can be requested or initiated, either alone or as a part of another family law case in California, like a parentage/paternity case, a divorce, or a child custody case.
Calculating the amount of child support that a parent may owe is done according to the California child support guidelines, but may vary slightly by county.
Under What Circumstances is Child Support Required in California?
If the parents are married when the child is born or conceived, they both have a legal duty to support the child, even if they divorce at any time.
If the parents are unmarried, then both parents are legally obligated to support the child once parentage has been legally established. The parents can do this by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, or through a legal case. Once a person has been legally established as the parent of a child, that person has all of the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent, and is required to financially support the child.
Child support orders do not stop if a parent’s custodial rights are taken away. While the amount of time that a parent spends with the child may factor in when calculating the amount of child support that is required, having no custody or visitation rights does not excuse a parent from the legal obligation of financially supporting his or her child.
Child support payments can end when the child passes away, is emancipated, joins the military, marries, or registers a domestic partnership.
How is Child Support Calculated in California?
In California, if a child’s parents agree on a fair and reasonable amount to pay towards child support (assuming that one parent has primary custody of the child), and a judge approves the amount, parents can determine the amount in the child support order.
However, in most cases, child support is calculated according to the California child support guidelines.
What Does Child Support Pay For in California?
Child support payments are intended to provide for a child’s basic needs. This includes basics like a home, food, water, education and health insurance, but it can also include other expenses.
• Any health care costs for a child beyond what insurance will cover,
• Child care while a parent is either at work or in training that is necessary to obtain a job,
• Transportation for the child to get between parents according to the custody and visitation schedule,
• The child’s education costs,
• Any special needs that the child may have,
• Other costs as the judge sees fit.
How Does the Court Determine an Appropriate Amount of Child Support?
The California guidelines tell a judge how to determine the amount of child support that a parent should have to pay. The guidelines include the following criteria, which are used to calculate child support.
• The amount of money each parent currently earns,
• The amount of money each parent has the potential to earn with training and education,
• The number of children the two parents have together,
• Each parent’s tax filing status,
• The amount of time that each parent spends with the child,
• Any support the children receive from other relationships,
• The child’s health insurance costs,
• Necessary health care costs beyond health insurance,
• Any mandatory expenses that the parent has, like union dues, retirement contributions, etc.,
• The cost of childcare,
• The cost of transportation for the child to go between the two parents,
• Other factors may be included depending on each individual child, his or her needs, and the judge and the court where child support is determined.
How is Income Calculated During Child Support Determination in California?
Child support is based on each parent’s net disposable income, which means that the total income is the amount leftover after state taxes, federal taxes and other required deductions have already been taken out. It does consider all regular income, including things like bonuses, overtime, or commission if these are considered regular.
If I Have More than One Child, How Does that Affect Child Support Determination?
In the case that one child’s needs are higher than those of another child, the court will include a breakdown of costs and expenses for each child.
The amount owed in the child support order will also take into consideration the ages of the children, so that when older children no longer receive child support, the remaining minor children will still receive the correct amount.
What About Temporary Child Support in California?
During a divorce, custody battle, or domestic violence restraining order case, the court may choose to award a temporary child custody order. Temporary child support is determined based on each parent’s income, and the amount of time that the parents spend with the child. Temporary child support only lasts until the case is complete, at which time a permanent child support order may be issued.
Child Support Attorneys Can Help with Your California Child Support Determination
In Summary, California child support determination may differ from the child support determination laws of other states. In California, it is important to understand what your rights are pertaining to child support determination. California child support determination can be estimated by using a guideline calculator. If you would like an estimate of approximately how much child support may be owed you may use the guideline calculator. The guideline calculator can be found online if you are interested in having an idea of what amount may be owed. It is important to keep in mind that this is simply a tool used to estimate the amount of child support that may be due. This is by no means a final amount of what your child support will be. Ultimately, the judge in court will determine what is an appropriate amount of child support.
Various factors will be considered when determining child support in California. For instance, how many children are involved as well as the ages of the children. The judge will take into consideration the basic needs of the children, as well as the parties financial situation. After evaluating various factors the judge will make a determination of what he or she feels is necessary and appropriate.
If you feel that you need to hire an attorney to assist you with this family law matter you will want to call various attorneys. Calling various attorneys can help you find one that best suits your needs. It is important to schedule an initial consultation to discuss specific details of your case, as well as the process and costs associated. Some Orange County Attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Before scheduling your consultation you will want to inquire regarding the cost of an initial consultation.
If you are interested in retaining a Child Support Attorney please call your local family law attorney. Please call Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000 for your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you with your family law matter!