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Answers To The Most Frequently Asked California Child Support Questions

At the Land Legal Group, our Divorce Lawyers in Los Angeles, California know that child support questions loom heavily when couples with children decide to end their marriages.

We understand that when kids are at the center of a divorce, their physical and emotional well-being is the priority. And often, the cornerstone of that stability begins with the court’s child support decisions.

How Is Child Determined In California?

California child support calculations are based on statewide guidelines.

The calculation is determined by the:

  • Number of children
  • Income of each parent
  • Timeshare/custody agreement
  • Tax filing status
  • Tax-deductible expenses

What Income Is Included In California Child Support Calculations

Based on the California Family Code, income from all sources is to be considered when determining child support.

That can include:

  • Cash flow from businesses
  • Earned income from employment
  • Investment income
  • Recurring interest income

Is There A Monetary Limit On The Child Support A Parent Is Ordered To Pay?

California does not place a cap on the amount of child support that a parent is ordered to pay. The calculation guidelines are typically the deciding factors in the amount the court dictates in the agreement, but judges can dictate a different amount in special cases.

How Long Do Child Support Payments Last?

In the State of California, child support ends under one of three circumstances.

When the child lives with the custodial parent and:

  • Turns 18 and s/he has already graduated from high school
  • Graduates from high school or turns 19 — whichever comes first

What If The Child Support Award Is Not Being Used For The Child?

There is often a disconnect between the paying spouse and the one receiving child support that may leave doubt that the full amount awarded is being used for the child’s needs. The law presumes that certain general living expenses like the custodial parent’s rent or mortgage payment, utilities, groceries, and other personal household expenses also benefit of the child, which means s/he can use child support payments for those purposes. Otherwise, there are no requirements that the recipient account for the use of the money that is received.

What If Financial Circumstances Change? Can Child Support Orders Be Modified?

Child support is always subject to modification if there is a change in the paying parent’s financial circumstances, changes in the children’s financial needs, or if there are changes to the custody arrangement that leads to the children spending more or less time with the parent who is receiving support.

If you have children at the center of your divorce proceedings, contact our Los Angeles child custody attorneys today to learn more about your financial outlook based on our California laws and your unique circumstances by scheduling a free initial consultation by calling (310) 746-5864 today to learn about your complete legal options without delay.

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