Child support is ordered in every divorce or separation that involves a minor child of the parties. The family law courts see both parents as being financially responsible for their child, regardless of custody or visitation agreements.
The amount of child support varies based off of a few factors that reflect financial resources of the parents and the residential time each parent spends with the child.
Child support in California is calculated based off of a standard calculation that follows state guidelines for support. While this calculation may bring you to an appropriate amount, a judge still has discretion in awarding child support if they feel a deviation, or shift, from the calculated amount is warranted. If you feel your case may require a deviation in the amount of child support ordered, consult with an experienced family law attorney.
The variables in the calculation are the number of children involved and that the parties are financially responsible for, the net disposable income of the parents and the residential time each parent spends with the child. Income is broadly construed and includes many sources of money, such as earned wages, social security and unemployment benefits just to name a few.
The residential time each parent has is an important factor because it allows the child support amount to reflect the number of days each parent has the child, covering basic day-to-day costs like food and transportation. To calculate child support you will have to know about how many residential days you will spend with your child each month.
Contributing household income from a new spouse or cohabitating adult in a parent’s home does not mean they will have to pay more child support. Child support is ordered until a child turns 18 or until they are 19 if they are attending high school full time. Once child support is ordered, the order is in effect until it is formally modified with the court, regardless of changes in income or resources to the parties.
Child support can be a complex issue if you feel a deviation is warranted because of extraneous costs for caring for your child that child support does not account for, such as extraordinary medical expenses, childcare so the other parent can work and transportation costs for visitations. Be sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you have any questions.
Are you in Los Angeles County and have questions about child support? Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney has expertise in child support matters and experience handling complex divorce cases. Serving Los Angeles and surrounding areas, Mark H. Karney can efficiently and successfully handle your child support issues. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Contact us through our online form or call us at 310-622-9434.