Child support in the State of California is the financial support a family court orders one or both parents to pay regularly. The purpose of child support is to cover the expenses associated with raising a child or children. Depending on state-wide guidelines, a family court judge will make a determination on what the amount of support will be. Although this may seem straightforward, a majority of cases will involve high emotions and other legal disputes, such as divorce or child paternity cases. The following is a brief summary of the state’s child support guidelines.
How a Child Support Order is Determined in California
Child support guidelines are decided at the state level. Under state law, every parent is financially responsible for his or her child. California courts will make child support orders based on each parent’s individual income level as well as the amount of time each individual parent will spend with the minor(s).
Before this can be done, however, each parent will need to complete the Income and Expense Declaration form; which is signed under penalty of perjury.
Once submitted, the judge will base the decision on each parent’s net disposable income, which is a figure after mandatory health premiums, taxes, and other child support payments. An estimated figure can be found using California’s Guideline Calculator.
As previously mentioned, the judge will also base the amount of child support payments on how much time is spent with the minor. When a parent spends less time with the minor, it is likely that he or she will need to pay more in child support.
The Duration of Child Support
- When a court decides a parent will need to pay child support, the duty to pay will continue until the minor:
- Has turned 18 years old and is a high school graduate; however, if the child is still a full-time student, he or she will continue to be eligible for support.
- Has turned 19 years of age.
- Has married, passed away, or is lawfully free.
In the event that the child is disabled, the court can order both parents to continue to be financially responsible for him or her. Under certain circumstances, parents can also choose to continue being financially responsible for the minor even after he or she has graduated high school. For the most part, a family court will allow this.
Consult the Support of a Skilled Family Law Attorney
Oftentimes, child support can be the most difficult part of a divorce or legal separation. Many parents fear that the other parent will use child support to attempt some sort of vengeance for how the relationship ended. Whatever the case is, child support is used for the sole purpose of making sure that the child involved is financially taken care of.
If you are going through a divorce or have any questions or concerns with respect to child support, it is in your best interest to seek the legal support of a skilled family law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will help you protect your interests and those of your child.
The family law attorneys at Schwartzberg & Luther, APC have helped many clients through divorce and child support cases from our offices in Rancho Cucamonga and Victorville. The firm understands that these types of cases are often enveloped in high emotions, including high levels of stress. Consider speaking to a Victorville divorce attorney at Schwartzberg & Luther, APC today for more information.