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How is Child Support Calculated in California?

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Unfortunately, when parents divorce, child support becomes part of the equation. Child support is a series of payments by a non-custodial parent to help with the financial support of children involved within the marriage. In California, some laws dictate how much money is paid each month.

Income Share Model

In California, child support is calculated with an income share method. The income share method keeps things fair and makes sure that both parents contribute to the monetary care of their children. Childcare costs and other medical expenses are taken into consideration as well. If an obligator fails to follow the payment schedule, punishments are applied. The state's child support agency is in charge of enforcing payments.

Under this model, a financial table is utilized to calculate the monthly costs associated with raising children involved in the divorce. The parent without primary custody is made to pay a portion of this cost, which is based on the percentage of both parents' combined income. For instance, the parent without primary custody may have an income of $4,000 each month. On the other hand, the parent with primary custody may have an income of $2,000 each month. The court may estimate that the cost of raising a child is $1,000 each month. Since the parent without primary custody's income is 66.6 percent of the total income, this person will be ordered to pay $666 each month in support.

What Happens with Shared Custody?

In California, laws dictate that support is based on the previously discussed model. However, in cases of shared custody, the amount of support is lowered according to the amount of time that a parent has physical custody of the child.

Extraordinary Medical Expenses

In California, there are special guidelines that are associated with sharing a child’s extraordinary medical expenses. These are considered "mandatory deductions" from basic child support. In other words, if the parent without primary custody pays extra childcare expenses, this part of the monthly childcare cost is deducted from the amount being paid to the parent with primary custody. However, if the parent with primary custody pays for childcare expenses, the parent without primary custody must pay extra child support.

If you are considering a divorce and want more information about child support guidelines in California, consult with the experts at Embry Family Law P.C.