California Child Support Guide

California child support is court-ordered money paid to help parents pay for their children's living expenses.

Child support is the legal obligation of parents to share the costs of raising their children. The amount is determined using a complex formula, taking into account both parents’ gross incomes and the percentage of time each parent spends with the children. However, some situations can require deviations from the standard calculation. Parents can also agree to less or more than what the state guideline requires in a child support agreement. These agreements must be approved by a judge. Some valid reasons for deviating from the guidelines include extraordinary income, unequal contributions to the child’s needs, differences in housing costs, unforeseen expenses, and other special circumstances.

In addition to basic child support, California calculates mandatory add-on expenses, typically paid by both parents. These can include things like health insurance, childcare, a child’s special needs, and education costs. The court may order one parent to pay these costs or divide them equally between the parents.

How to Calculate California Child Support?

The child support calculator takes into account both parents’ gross incomes, including wages, bonuses, unemployment benefits, investment dividends, and self-employment income. It also considers both parents’ net disposable income, which is the total amount of money left over after removing mandatory payroll deductions, tax liabilities, and other specified expenses.

While the guidelines provide a default calculation, the court can deviate from the formula for valid reasons. These include mutual agreement, extraordinarily high incomes, deferred home sales, unequal contribution to the child’s needs, and other special circumstances. Parents can also agree to a different child support amount as part of their marital settlement agreement. However, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Moreover, the court must approve the agreement, which must be found to be in the child’s best interests and free of coercion or duress.

California Child Support Application
California Child Support Guide 1

California Child Support Application

If you are a parent and have an existing child support order, you can apply for child support services through your local California DCSS office. The agency will help you determine the amount of child support to be paid, enforce your current order, and modify it if necessary. It will also help you establish legal custody.

In the application, you must provide information about both parents. This includes the parents’ names, their Social Security numbers, and the address where they live. In addition, you must list the date of their birth and their relationship to your children. You must also include information about their income.

The DCSS uses a formula to calculate child support, which takes into account the parents’ incomes and how much time they spend with their children. It also factors in the cost of health insurance and extraordinary expenses. You can use a calculator to estimate your child support payments.

Child support laws vary by state and can change over time. However, a judge can adjust the amount of child support if it isn’t fair or if circumstances have changed significantly.

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