What To Know About Child Support In California
Furthermore, California law provides guidelines to courts to determine the appropriate amount of child support, based on a formula that is incorporated into a complicated child support calculator software program, such as Dissomaster or XSpouse. The calculation factors in both parties’ gross monthly income (i.e. employment income, investment income, and rental income all constitute “income”) and the percentage timeshare each parent has with the child. amount of time each parent spends with the child. In order to be able to get an accurate child support calculation, you need to do your homework:
1. Gather Your Financial Records:
You will need all documents containing information on your income, deductions, and tax information, such as:
- Tax returns
- Pay receipts for the last 2 months
- W2’s or 1099’s (Schedule Cs and profit-loss statements if self-employed)
- Disability or unemployment benefits
- Monthly childcare expenses
- Monthly health insurance premiums
- Mandatory retirement and union dues contributions (if in a union or state employee)
- Necessary job-related expenses not reimbursed by your employer
- Spousal support paid in other relationships
- Extraordinary health care expense
- Child support paid for children of other relationships
2. Consult with an Experienced California Family Law Attorney.
Although there are free child support programs online, the calculations for child support can be complicated and the free programs are not always the most accurate. Virtually all family law attorneys in Orange County and in California should have one of the main child support software programs that are used by the courts, while allows them to give you more accurate calculations. Working with an experienced family law attorney will help better determine that you are paying or receiving the appropriate amount of child support.
3. Determine If You Are Eligible To Claim A Hardship Deduction
Generally a parent can claim a child from a different relationship as a hardship to lower their child support obligation if (1) The child is the natural or adopted child (i.e. not a steparent) of the party, and (2) the child eligible for a hardship deduction must reside with the parent.
4. Understand When You Can Seek a Modification of a Child Support Order
A child support order in California can be changed if there has been a substantial “change of cirsumstances” since the original support order was made. A change in circumstances can include:
- The involuntary loss of a job;
- Incarceration of a parent;
- Upward or downward change in income;
- Significant change in the amount of custodial timeshare that the child spends with each parent.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”