California family law requires both parents to have the legal responsibility to provide financial support for their children. After separation or divorce, or in the case where the parents are not married, or not living together, the courts may order either or both parents to make regular payments to support a child’s living and medical expenses.
In California, child support payments are determined through the use of a statutory formula. The formula takes into account the amount of time a child spends with each parent, together with each parent’s monthly income.
For the purposes of child support income is defined as:
- Wages from a job
- Self-employment earnings
- Unemployment benefits
- Disability and workers’ compensation
- Rental income
- Social Security or pensions
- Any payments or credits due or becoming due, regardless of the source, including lottery and prize winnings.
Certain payments are exempt from gross monthly income for support payment purposes. They include:
- Mandatory union dues
- Health premiums
- Child or spousal support actually being paid
- Costs of raising children from another relationship
Changing a Child Support Order
A child support order can only be changed or approved by court once a child support order has been issued. Either parent may request a review of the child support order if there is a change in circumstances. A change in circumstance can occur if there has been a substantial increase or decrease in the earnings by either parent, a change in the custodial arrangements, or a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Child support is usually ordered until the child becomes 18. However, there may be special circumstances when the court may order the continuation of support beyond this time period. For example, if the child has reached 19, but is still attending high school, a court may order child support extended.
Furubotten Law is committed to helping clients on all levels and at all stages of your child support case. We offer full representation for child support matters for those who are able to retain an attorney to handle all aspects of the case. We also offer our attorney assisted services for those who can only afford limited attorney involvement. We can consult with you, discuss the difficulties, challenges and strengths of your case, and even prepare paperwork at your direction.
We have solutions for almost every budget. When you just can’t afford full attorney representation, check out our Attorney Assisted Services page to find out about obtaining limited services for:
- Child Support Calculations
- Initial Child Support Agreements
- Orders to Show Cause
- Modifications and Termination of Child Support
- Earnings Assignment Orders
- Attorney Consultations and Case Evaluations
Contact our offices today for a FREE initial consultation of your child support case and find out which of our child custody services are right for you.