Child Support Attorney Referral Service

How is Child Support determined in the state of California?

California has guidelines for calculating child support that apply statewide. While parents can agree on a child support amount which will be enforced, an amicable agreement is not always possible. When this happens, a judge will decide the amount of child support to be paid based on the California state guidelines.

These guidelines include:

  1. The income of both of the parents;
  2. Other income that each parent receives;
  3. The number of children;
  4. How much time each parent spends with his or her children;
  5. Support of the children from other relationships;
  6. Union dues that are mandatory;
  7. Any health insurance expenses;
  8. Tax filing status of each parent;
  9. Daycare shared costs;
  10. Uninsured healthcare costs;
  11. Retirement contributions that are mandatory;
  12. Other factors as the judge sees fit.

Additionally, parents may be required to share costs of other expenses, like:

  1. Child care that allows a parent to work, receive training, or schooling for work skills;
  2. The child or children’s educational needs;
  3. Traveling expenses for visitation from one parent to the other parent;
  4. Any reasonable healthcare expenses for the children;
  5. Any other special needs

In special circumstances, the judge can order a child support amount that does not follow the guidelines set forth by California law. However, these circumstances are extremely limited.

If there is a significant change in a supporting parent’s income, the recipient parent’s income, or in the amount of time each parent spends with the child or children, an already existing child support order may be modified. When asking a court for modification, the court will analyze the current situation. As a result, child support can be increased or decreased. Until an order has been changed, the supporting parent owes what is set forth in the order.

If a parent has fallen behind on his or her support obligations, he or she will owe the support amount and interest at the rate of 10% a year.

Why is it a good idea to hire an attorney when fighting for child support?

Child support often comes with changes in a familial situation, such as a divorce, separation, or annulment. Additionally, if there is a domestic violence restraining order or a disputed paternity, the issues of child support will often be involved. Determining which legal path is right for your particular situation can be difficult, time-consuming, and taxing, especially if you are not familiar with California family law.

A California family law attorney experienced in child support and other family law-related matters will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your individual situation. A child support attorney will have experience handling and negotiating child support amounts, whether they are being agreed upon by the parents without court intervention or whether a judge needs to become involved due to a particularly contentious child support dispute.

A child support attorney will fight to uphold the rights of you and your children. He or she will be your advocate in court or during mediation; and, you can be sure to secure the right amount of compensation needed to ensure that your children are cared for, and provided for, in the absence of the other parent.

How do I know I have chosen the right attorney in my child support case?

You should feel comfortable talking to your child support attorney about all of the details of your family situation, even if those details are embarrassing or uncomfortable.

Your child support attorney should also have experience in California family law, especially when it comes to child support cases. An attorney who has a good track record of successful outcomes in child support cases is one who will be able to help you and advise you accordingly. Contact us at 818-340-4529.