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Child Support FAQ

Get Answers from a Palm Desert Child Support Lawyer

Q: What happens if the other parent is not working?
Q: What timesharing factors are taken into consideration regarding child support?
Q: How does the court calculate child support in California?
Q: Does the court have to make the child support order or can the parents agree on support?
Q: How long are parent's responsible to pay child support?
Q: Can child support orders be changed?

What happens if the other parent is not working?

Sometimes parents purposefully become unemployed in order to try and avoid their child support obligations. The court does not look favorably on this and could decide to "impute" income. This means that the court will determine your earning ability, rather than looking at how much you actually make. They will then search to make sure that jobs are available in that field that you would be qualified for. Then they will assign you child support payments based on that imputed income.

What timesharing factors are taken into consideration regarding child support?

Timesharing is how much time the children spend with each parent and how much responsibility the individual parents have. When ordering child support the court will look to see who drops off and picks up the kids from school, who goes to the kid's extracurricular activities, who attends their doctor appointments and who pays for their education. While looking at all of this the court will formulate a percentage of each parent's involvement that will reflect in the amount of child support.

How does the court calculate child support in California?

The California courts follow a complex support formula that takes a look at the overall income of each parent and breaks it down. There is actually a program that they use to calculate the estimated amount of child support. Aside from looking at the gross income of each parent, they will also look at their tax obligations, union dues, job-related costs, health insurance expenses and other basic living expenses. Taking all that into consideration, the court will take the gross annual income, deduct certain expenses and then divide that number by 12 to arrive at the monthly amount of support.

Does the court have to make the child support order or can the parents agree on support?

Parents are permitted to create their own child support order and can submit it to the court to have it approved. In order for that to be accepted the parents must be in agreement over the terms, they must be fully aware of their rights and they cannot be forced into making an agreement. The support agreement should also be made in the child's best interest.

How long are parent's responsible to pay child support?

In California parents are held to pay child support obligations until the child reaches age 18 or is legally emancipated. Going into the military on active duty can also cancel out your duty to pay support.

Can child support orders be changed?

In order to have the court approve a child support modification you must be able to prove a change of circumstances. For example, if you have influx or decrease in income the court can adjust it so that you are not paying more or less than the guideline amount.

If you have any further questions regarding child support orders in California, be sure to contact my firm.