Child Support

March 2nd, 2015

A child support order is just that – an order.  Once ordered, it is not optional.  However, $14.3 billion in child support remained unpaid in the United States in 2011.

Child support in California is determined by a mathematical formula which is set forth at Family Code Section 4055 (the “guideline” amount”).  In short, the Court looks at both parties’ incomes, the number of children, the amount of time the child(ren) spend with each parent, as well as the tax filing status and relevant and allowable deductible expenses.*

California parents can “run” the child support calculations here.

In addition:

  • The Court shall also order the following additional items:  childcare costs related to employment and reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.  Fam. Code § 4062(a).
  • The Court may also order costs related to educational/special needs of the children and travel expenses for visitation.  Fam. Code § 4062(b).

*Non-guideline child support awards are governed by Family Code Section 4057 (subject of a later blog post).

If the other parent is not paying the court-ordered support, or if you are a parent who cannot afford to pay the court-ordered support, an experienced family law attorney can answer your questions and help identify potential solutions to your family law needs.