Child Support in California Divorce and Paternity Cases

Child Support is determined by a fixed formula in California referred to as “The Guideline.” You can determine for yourself what support is likely to be at the official State of California Free Child Support Calculator found here.

Determining what your figure means though, may involve consulting with an attorney.

The first thing you have to enter is the number of dependents. This means dependents of the relationship at issue.

Child Support Determined by Time Share with Children

Next, you have to determine what percentage of time they spend with each parent. Make yourself parent “1″ and continue using this formula throughout the form.

If you are unhappy with the eventual support numbers, one of the most direct ways to change it is to modify the time share.  You do this by petitioning the court to change the child custody and visitation schedule.  For instance,  parents who have no current visitation can often save hundreds of dollars on child support by seeking every other weekend and one midweek visit which is equivalent to a 20% timeshare.  Other parents seek to raise their time share from 20% to 50/50.

On the other hand, if you are the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent is not exercising his or her permitted visitation, you may want to petition the court to accurately reflect their actual visitation time in order to increase your support.

Tax Filing Status and Child Support

You will enter tax filing status for yourself and the other parent as well as monthly income from a variety of sources. You will also enter deductions which include things like health insurance, mandatory union dues, and any support paid other than child support in this relationship.

child support

You will also include any state deductions to income or hardship deductions. Hardship deductions are generally sometimes if you are supporting minor children from another relationship.

Using the advanced “add on” feature, you can customize the support information to compute child care costs or to include spousal support. However, permanent spousal support is not based upon guideline.

The state’s free child support calculator is a useful tool. If you are having trouble interpreting the results, you are always advised to consult a family law attorney.

Call me at 877-369-5294 for more information about child support.