What Factors are Considered for Child Support

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In the state of California, both parents are expected to financially support their children. If you are going through a divorce, or are looking to receive child support from the other parent, there are certain factors that are considered.

What is Child Support?

When a couple goes through a divorce or separate after having a baby together, one or both of the parents will be expected to assist with the cost of ongoing support. This is an amount of money that the courts have determined is needed in order to financially support the child. This can include medical expenses, food, schooling, housing, etc. Even if the parents were not married, an order for support can be issued by the courts. 

What Factors are Considered for Child Support?

The amount of money that is paid is determined by a number of factors. In the state of California, these factors are:

  • each parent’s income
  • the number of children
  • percentage of time each parent spends with the children
  • any available income tax deductions that the parents can claim
  • mandatory payroll deductions, such as health insurance, pensions, etc.
  • child care costs incurred by either parent

How is Child Support Calculated?

The child support calculation is complicated, but in general, the overall, total net disposable income is used to calculate child support. The formula for calculation is:

CS = K (HN – (H%) (TN))

  • CS is the total child support amount.
  • K is the total income of both parents combined that has to be paid toward child support. This amount is determined on how much each parent earns, and how much time the higher-earning parent spends with the child. 
  • HN is the net monthly disposable income of the higher-earning parent.
  • H% is the percentage of time that the higher-earning parent will spend with the child compared to the other parent.
  • TN is the combined total net monthly disposable income of both parents.

Support Add-Ons

In addition to the monthly child support amount, a court can require the parent to pay an “add-on.” This is additional money that the parent is required to pay to help with expenses. There are mandatory and discretionary add-ons. 

Mandatory add-ons are ones that the state of California has deemed mandatory for the parent to pay. These expenses are typically split 50/50 unless a court order prescribes a different amount. Mandatory add-ons include:

  • uninsured reasonable/necessary healthcare expenses such as medical, dental, and vision related
  • child care costs

Discretionary add-ons are determined by the courts if they are necessary to be paid or not. This includes expenses associated with:

  • private/specialized education
  • extracurricular activities
  • travel

Creating a Child Support Agreement

Some parents may choose to create an agreement outside of the courts and an agreement can be drawn up in mediation agreed to by both parties. This agreement can be presented to the courts for approval so long as 

  • both parents consent to the agreement
  • neither was forced into the agreement
  • they have the child’s best interest at heart
  • the child’s needs will be taken care of
  • neither parent is receiving or has applied for public assistance

Modifying Child Support

In general payments are required to be paid on a monthly basis until the child is 18 years old. If your 18-year-old child is still a full-time high school student and still lives with a parent, it ends when your child graduates or turns 19, whichever occurs first. If either parent wishes to modify the agreement, they must prove a change in circumstances that warrants a change. This can include a change in the amount of income one of the parents receives or a change in the amount of time spent with each parent. 

Newport Divorce Attorney

Properly planning out child support payments can be confusing and emotionally draining process. Make sure you consult with an experienced attorney like Robert Glasser. With the team at Newport Divorce Attorney, you can rest assured that you will have a knowledgeable and efficient lawyer to help you. Call us today at (949) 752-2727, or visit our website to schedule a consultation. 


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