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How Is Child Support Calculated In California?

How Is Child Support Calculated In California?

California state law provides that both parents have a responsibility to support their children financially. Among other things, child support is meant to cover expenses related to children’s food, education, medical care, and clothing. Depending on your family circumstances, California’s child support calculator is used to determine how much child support is to be paid by parents.

The child support case process may seem overwhelming to parents trying to navigate the child support system, but an experienced attorney can make the process much easier. Child support attorney Bruce A. Mandel has been practicing family law in California for close to three decades, and he represents parents seeking to establish or modify child support terms.

Primary Child Support Factors

The amount of child support paid by one parent to another is primarily based on parental income and the amount of time a child spends with each parent. The custodial parent generally receives child support from the noncustodial parent. When parents share joint custody, one parent will typically still be responsible for paying child support because of differences in parental income.

Other Factors That Can Affect Child Support

Although income and time spent with each parent are the main factors in determining child support, there are other factors that may also impact the amount of child support paid by one parent. Some of those factors include the following:

  • How many children the parents have together
  • How many children the parents have with other people
  • If the child has special needs and related expenses
  • The child’s healthcare and health insurance expenses
  • Childcare/daycare expenses
  • Parents’ earning potential

Agreeing To Child Support Terms

In some cases, parents may agree to specific child support terms. The support amount may be based on California’s child support guidelines. It can also be a different amount of support that both parents agree to if it is an amount that will meet the needs of the child, and one parent does not feel pressured or forced into accepting the specified amount. Child support agreements are subject to judicial approval.

Child Support Modifications

If parents or children experience a change in circumstances, child support may need to be modified. Changes in circumstances may include a parent having additional children, a change in income, or a change in the amount of time spent with the child. Changes in the child’s life, such as new educational expenses or new activities and sports expenses, may also be grounds for the modification of child support.

Child support modification terms may be decided by a judge or agreed to by the parents with judicial approval. Even when parents agree to a change in the support payment amount, the monthly payment amount should not change until the court approves the modification.

California Child Support Attorney

If you need help with child support, child custody, or other family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel to schedule a consultation. Call 424-250-9130 or reach us online, and we will get in touch with you. Follow us on Facebook for information and updates on California family law and to learn more about our law firm.