How is child support calculated in California?

Parents in California who are no longer together will generally have one parent paying child support to the other parent to provide proper care for a child. There is often confusion as to how the amount is determined. In certain cases, the parents will come to an agreement based on the best interests of the child and they will decide on what should be paid, with everyone happy about the decision. Court intervention is not needed in these cases. In others, there are battles that go on with state law needing to be referenced as to what the child support guidelines are.

A judge will use the guidelines to decide how much should be paid. The calculation as to the amount will be contingent on the following: how much the parents earn or are able to earn; whether or not the parents receive other income and how much it is; how many children there are; how much time the parents each spend with the child; the tax filing status of the parents; if there is support of children from different relationships; what the health insurance costs are; if there are required union dues; if there are required contributions to retirement; what the cost of daycare and uninsured healthcare are; and other issues as they arise.

Parents might also be required to share the expenses for the following: child care if the custodial parent works or is in school to gain skills to work; reasonable expenses for healthcare; the travel costs of going to visit the other parent; educational expenses; and other special needs. Time-share will also be relevant in the calculation of child support. This refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Generally, the court will count the hours that are spent with the child by each parent and come to a number using that method.

The financial needs of the child are paramount when determining child support. With the child support guidelines, the goal is to give the child what is required. In some instances, there might be circumstances in which the guidelines are not deemed accurate or there is a disagreement among the parents as to what should and should not be paid. Getting more information about child support payment issues could help with a case.