How are Your Child Support Payments Determined in California?

child custody in california
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Child support can be a contentious subject for any separating couple. To make matters even worse, calculating child support in California isn’t easy. In fact, the formula the courts use to determine a parent’s monthly payment is so complex that the state requires a computer program to complete it. If you think there’s been an error in your or your ex partner’s child support calculation, or if you need assistance collecting the child support you’re owed, legal help is available. Understanding how child support is calculated can supply you with the information you’ll need when contacting your attorney to get the matter resolved.

Factors Affecting Child Support

The two major factors California courts take into consideration when calculating child support are a parent’s income or financial resources and the amount of time each parent spends with their children. Judges consider both income from the parent’s job and any other money he or she receives. For example, the amount of money you earn from your investments would likely be considered during the child support hearing. If you’re not working, the judge may also consider how much money you could make if you started working. To better understand your financial situation, the judge will probably ask for financial documents, including former tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements – from both you and your partner.

The child custody timeshare is also essential to determining child support.  Since children can be quite expensive, the child support formula attempts to provide more support for parents that have a higher timeshare.

In addition to assigning monthly child support payments, the court may also require that you and your former partner share some expenses, including childcare costs, tuition, health care expenses, or visitation transportation. An attorney can help you request funds if there are other expenses that you believe you and your former partner should share.

Getting Help

If you’re trying to raise your children on your own without child support, asking the court to step in can help you get the support you need to make a better life for you and your children. If you’re hesitant to contact an attorney because you’re afraid of the cost – don’t be. There are many lawyers who offer attorney fee assistance in California.


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