Under California law, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their children. Child support refers to the amount of money a court orders parents to pay to cover the maintenance and living expenses of their children. Courts use a specific formula, referred to as “guideline support,” when determining the amount of child support to be paid. Parents must provide their children with financial support up until their 18th birthday (19th birthday if still in high school). Parents may agree to support their children for a longer period. If a child is disabled, the court may order both parents to continue paying child support beyond his/her 18th birthday.
Contact San Diego Esquire if you need help obtaining or modifying your child support order. Read on to learn more about child support in California and how we can help you.
Child Support Overview
As stated above, California has set guidelines in place to help determine child support. The following formula is used to calculate child support:
CS=K[HN – (H%)(TN)]
CS stands for child support. H% refers to the percentage of time of when the higher earning spouse has primary responsibility for the children. K represents the allocation of income by both parents towards child support. TN is the total net monthly disposable income of both parents. HN refers to the higher earning parent’s net monthly disposable income. Guideline support factors also include the following:
- All sources of income for each parent
- The amount of children the parents have together
- Each parent’s tax filing status
- Monthly support received for children from other relationships
- Health insurance expenses
- Mandatory union dues
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Daycare and uninsured healthcare costs
The above calculation produces a rebuttable presumption of child support. The court can issue an order for a different child support amount. Parents can also agree to more than the guideline child support amount. The court will approve the final amount of support to be paid. You can estimate child support by using the California Guidelines Calculator. You can also download and review the California Guideline Child Support Calculator User Guide for additional information. Contact our law office to obtain a formal Dissomaster report. If you have sole or joint physical custody of your children, we can help you obtain a child support order. If you and the other parent agree to a child support amount, we can help you draft a legal agreement to file with the court. If you receive public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF), the local Department of Child Support Services will automatically start a child support case against the other parent. This agency approves all orders for child support in a divorce or legal separation proceeding. The agency will also collect the child support for you. Contact us for more information.
Temporary & Permanent Child Support Order
During a divorce, if parents are at dispute regarding child support, a temporary child support order can be obtained. This temporary court order with provide for child support until the divorce is finalized. Upon finalization of divorce, a permanent child support order is established.
California Child Support Modification
A child support order can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This includes changes to the amount of time a parent spends with his/her children or income substantially increases. If the parents agree to a child support amount below the guideline amount, they do not have to establish a change in circumstances to modify the child support order. Contact us for assistance in modifying your existing child support order.
Contact a Child Support Attorney
Contact San Diego Esquire for more information on how to obtain a child support order. We can review your case and provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to best proceed in obtaining an order.
Child Support Mediation Fees
San Diego Esquire provides child support mediation services. All fees are charged on a daily basis at a rate of $125 per hour. Sessions are typically scheduled for 2 hours. Mediation fees are paid in advance of each session.