Child support is the amount of money that a family law court will order one parent to pay the other parent with full, partial or, in some cases, even shared custody of a minor child in order to assist in the support of that child. In California, the parent of a child is required to financially assist in the raising of the child, regardless of whether that parent was ever married to the other parent or if that parent has ever supported the child in the past. The California courts will set child support based on a guideline calculator and other evidence presented by the parties. The courts will take into consideration the following factors in setting child support awards:
- Each parent’s income
- The time each parent spends with the children
- The cost of living in the child’s community
- The child’s needs and standard of living
- Spousal or child support already being paid by the party
- Health insurance costs
- Child care costs
You can estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered in your case using The California Guideline Child Support Calculator. The amount actually awarded could fluctuate up or down based on the evidence presented by your attorney. Where the parents of the child were never married, or where the paternity of the child is in doubt, a mother seeking child support for a child may be required to prove paternity before a court will award support. It is important to remember that child support is generally required to be paid until the child turns 18, and sometimes longer. Child support may be subject to modification based on changes of circumstance, including both the needs of the child and the parent paying or receiving the support. Obtaining a modification can be difficult. Therefore, the financial stakes are very high for all involved as child support payments will continue for many years in most cases. Thus, it is important to work with experienced counsel to ensure your rights are honored under the law.
Working with A Child Support Attorney
We are happy to help parents negotiate a child support agreement that works for both parties. If a collaborative resolution is not possible, we are also able to guide parents through the child support litigation process.
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