Raising a child can be a lot of work, and it certainly is not cheap. Thus, when parents are not longer together, it is likely that one parent may require financial assistance from the other, especially when one parent has the child or children most of the time. This not only offsets parenting time, creating a more equal situation, but it also ensures that the child’s needs are met. Thus, when a parent in California seeks to establish, modify or enforce child support, he or she will need to look towards the support guidelines to determine what can or cannot be done in their matter.
Child support formula in California
Under California law, two factors impact how child support is calculated if it is sought or ordered, which is the net-disposable income of each parent and the time-share or parenting time for each parent. Simply put, the less time a parent spends with a child, the more he or she will likely have to pay in child support.
When setting the amount for child support, the court will look at one’s disposable income and other sources of income. This includes employment wages, self-employment earnings, unemployment benefits, disability and workers’ compensation benefits, Social Security and pensions, dividends, stocks, interest earned on investments, rental property income and lottery and prize winnings.
Certain expenses are considered when addressing child support matters. In simple terms, this includes monetary support, which goes towards food clothing and shelter, health insurance, back payments and interest on back payments. Additionally, parents could agree or the judge could order other expenses to be shared or addressed with child support. This includes childcare, unpaid medical bills, travel costs for visitation and extracurricular activities.
While one may not be excited to see a portion of their income deducted each pay period or month, the reality is that these finances are used for a good purpose. Because each situation is different, it may be possible to deviate from the guidelines. Thus, it is important to take the time to understand one’s situation, what options they have and how they can best protect their interests and rights in the matter.