How Does Being Self Employed Affect Child Support?

Each parent is equally responsible for supporting their child financially, regardless of their employment status. When calculating child support, however, California courts do consider how much money each parent earns or can earn.

As such, self-employment may affect how much child support you owe if you are not the primary custodial parent.

How Does California Calculate Child Support?

California uses a statewide guideline to calculate child support. According to the Judicial Council of California, the guideline calculation depends on:

  • Each parent’s income and earning potential
  • Other sources of income for each parent
  • How many children need support
  • How much time each parent spends with the children
  • Each parent’s tax filing status
  • Children from other relationships
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Mandatory union dues and retirement contributions
  • The costs of school and daycare
  • Housing costs
  • And more

Being self-employed changes the way you file taxes and purchase health insurance, so it will change the way your child support is calculated, as well.

Is California Child Support Based on Gross or Net Income?

California child support is based on net disposable income, or the amount left over after taxes and other mandatory expenses. If you are self-employed, you must calculate your net profits carefully, so your child support is not calculated based on the amount you make without deducting business expenses (your gross profit).

Just like you must provide proof of business deductions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you may have to prove your deductions to the family law court.

Unfortunately, some self-employed parents try to hide assets or income to pay less in child support.

Whether you are a self-employed parent looking to accurately report your income or a primary custodial parent concerned your self-employed ex is hiding assets, Burch Shepard Family Law Group can help.

What If the Self-Employed Spouse Is Struggling Financially?

Self-employment is not always as stable as other forms of employment, so you may need to adjust your child support order if business stalls. Of course, the same is true for when business is booming.

Fortunately, our firm can also help with child support modifications.

If you are self-employed and struggling financially, speak to one of our attorneys about creating a more manageable child support arrangement.

Better yet, call us before you establish a child support agreement in court, so we can help ensure your unique employment status is reflected in the final court order.

Our team at Burch Shepard Family Law Group has more than 100 years of collective experience helping self-employed parents through child support agreements and other legal hurdles, and our lead attorneys are Board Certified in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

We are committed to our clients and dedicated to obtaining real results, so do not hesitate to put our legal expertise on your side.

Call us at (949) 565-4158 or contact us online to get started with a free, confidential consultation.