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How is child support determined in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Child Custody

If you are getting a divorce, one parent may serve as primary custodial parent of the child and will be responsible for taking care of the child a majority of the time, while the other parent serves as non-custodial parent and is granted parenting time. In such cases, the non-custodial parent will have to pay the primary custodial parent a certain amount of child support each month. This money is intended to help the child’s primary caregiver provide for the child on an everyday basis.

Calculating child support in California

Every state has its own set of guidelines to help determine the amount of child support owed each month. The state of California uses a formula to determine the amount of child support owed in any given case, The formula incorporates several factors including:

  • Number of children.
  • Gross and net disposable incomes of both parents.
  • Necessary costs related to childcare.
  • Percentage of time each parent spends as primary caregiver of child.

While the court relies on the formula to calculate a proper amount of support, it will also allow for deviations from the guidelines if necessary.

If you are just beginning the divorce process, it may be in your best interest to gather the information used to calculate child support in California and present it to your attorney. Your attorney can then use the formula to estimate the amount of child support the court is likely to order in your case. However, it is important to remember this is just an estimation and the court will have the final say as to whether to authorize that amount.