How is child support determined in California?

Many residents of Vista, California may think that when a parent is determined to pay child support, a complicated mathematical formula is used to determine the the ultimate amount he or she must pay. It’s an exact formula that is used in every case, and this is the way our state deals with child support payments.

Though this is somewhat correct, the fact is that no child support determination will be made the same way. Every case is unique and different, and as a result, certain factors weigh heavier in certain child support determinations compared to other cases. A certain set of factors are used to determine what a spouse will pay in child support.

So what are those factors? How does child support get determined in California? Well, first and foremost, the parent that does not have custody will be the spouse paying child support. Since the custodial parent is already paying for general care of their son or daughter, the non-custodial parent assumes responsibility of child support.

With that in mind, here are numerous important factors for determining child support in California:

  • Income, other forms of income and earning potential of the spouses
  • The number of children the parents have and how much time they spend with them
  • Tax status and health insurance expenses of each spouse
  • Other extraneous financial matters, such as union dues, retirement contributions and shared costs to care for the child (such as day care)

Depending on these factors, a judge will determine how much you or your ex-spouse has to pay in child support.

Source: FindLaw, “California Child Support Calculations,” Accessed Aug. 20, 2014

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