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Understanding Child Support In California

Unlike other aspects of family law, which tend to involve qualitative assessments, child support is largely based on numbers. The specific formula considers a range of factors, including:

  • Each parent's primary income and additional income sources
  • Each parent's earning capacity (which may be higher than what they actually earn)
  • How many children are in need of support
  • If (and how many) children from other relationships are already being supported
  • Each parent's percentage of time-share (physical custody)
  • The costs of expenses such as medical insurance, mandatory union dues, mandatory retirement contributions, etc.
  • Other special needs and special circumstances

After inputting all relevant factors, child support is calculated, often using online software. In most of California, the program used to calculate support is called DissoMaster. The calculated amount is presumed to be correct unless attorneys for either parent can present evidence showing that such an amount would be unjust or otherwise inappropriate.

How Our Firm Can Help You

Although child support law and procedure in California is pretty straightforward, it is still helpful to consult with an attorney, especially if you need to challenge the calculation or otherwise seek to change child support obligations. One aspect where we can provide specific guidance is in addressing the issue of disputed income. Disputed income is that income which a spouse could make if a good faith effort is made. We will recommend a vocational expert to assess the underperforming spouse's actual earning potential.

As part of our larger family law practice, we are available to answer any questions you have about child support and to guide you through the process.

You may also want to negotiate additional terms beyond what is covered in the calculation such as money to send your kids to private school, shared travel expenses, shared medical and day care expenses, etc. Before starting the child support process, we will discuss your needs and goals in detail.

Contact Us For A Free Discussion About Your Legal Needs

Denny Kershek Family Law Attorney is based in Poway and serves clients in and around San Diego County. To take advantage of a free initial consultation with a lawyer who has more than 35 years of experience, call us at 619-908-1899. You can also fill out our online contact form.