Which Factors Determine Child Support in California?

Sep 30, 2020 Child Support

When a marriage that resulted in children enters the process of dissolution, the divorce process can become especially tedious. Usually, parents will be especially sensitive around custody and child support issues, making the importance of negotiating a favorable outcome imperative for all parties involved. If you’re considering a divorce in California and are unsure what to petition for child support, an Irvine child support lawyer can help you understand your rights and needs.

Making the difficult decision to divorce your spouse is further complicated when children are involved, and if you’re seeking sole custody or plan on being the primary caregiver, you need to make sure you are requesting substantial child support to cover your swelling costs. Below, we outline five factors that tend to determine child support cases in California.

Parents’ Duty to Support Minors

In California, both parents are legally required to financially support their children until they are 18 years old. If your child is disabled or faces other hardships, a court may extend this requirement beyond the child’s 18 years of age. As such, parents should prepare their budgets to accommodate child support requirements.

Assessing Each Parent’s Financial Position

When assessing how much child support is owed by either parent, California courts will follow a statewide Uniform Guideline to calculate their obligation. Factors will include each parent’s annual income, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and each parent’s current standard of living. The court will heavily weigh which parent is primarily responsible for care since this parent will be responsible for maintaining the child’s current standard of living.

In order to determine child support, the court will request evidence of each parent’s total earnings and net worth, requesting documents like W-2 forms, pay stubs, income and expense declarations, bank statements, real property, and other assets, and any additional documents that offer a window into their financial position.

How an Irvine Child Support Lawyer Can Help

Divorce can be highly emotional and often requires the sound and level-headed expertise of an experienced attorney. Your Irvine child support lawyer can assist you in gathering all of the necessary documentation and building a case for a reasonable child support settlement that takes into consideration your position as a primary or secondary caregiver or earner. If you’re unsure what to expect during this process, your attorney will make sure you are prepared to fight for what you and your child deserve.