The Most Asked Questions about California Child Support

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

When there are kids from a marriage, their well being is the first thought that comes up in the minds of divorcing couples. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions as far as California child support is concerned.

  1. How is child support determined?

There is a statewide guideline in California based on which child support is ascertained. The formula used for determining is quite complex. Hence, calculations are usually done by an Orange County divorce attorney. These attorneys use some special computer programs that are licensed by organizations offering software on legal research. The calculation is carried out on the basis of factors such as income of both parents, their status on tax filing, and number of kids in the marriage, tax-deductible expenses of each parent, and the time span for which each parent has the child custody and so on.

  1. Is there a restriction on how much amount a court orders a parent to pay for child support in California?

There is no limit in California as far as the amount of child support is concerned, unlike some other States in the United States. The calculation mentioned in the guideline is the basis for legal calculation in a majority of divorce cases. There are a few exceptional situations where a court may digress from it.

  1. The calculation generated a figure that is much more than what is essential in bringing up a child. What is to be done then?

The amount to be granted by the “provider” parent to bring up a kid may not be same always. The Californian law states that a kid is eligible to lead a lifestyle that is similar to that of their parents. Hence, when the calculation for a child support enhances the lifestyle status of a parent with lower income, it is often upheld by a judge. However, in cases where the amount calculated for child support is exorbitant and does not match to the reasonable lifestyle of either of the parents, the court may decide to move away from the given guideline.

  1. What is the next course of action when the amount paid for child support is sufficient for supporting the other parent as well as the kid?

Such a scenario does occur on various occasions. The law enables the child to lead the lifestyle that is enjoyed by the parent with higher earnings. There are cases upheld by a superior court when a receiving parent petitioned for receiving housing as well as many other expenses as the amount paid for child support is not adequate. It is a common result when a parent is earning a very high income,

  1. Which incomes should be included while calculating child support?

Some of them are cash flows from a business, income from investment, recurring interest and salary from employment.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation