Bay Area Divorces © 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Redwood Shores Office
303 Twin Dolphin Drive, 6th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94065
(650) 331-3475





Child Support laws in California use a formula to calculate the “Guideline” child support amount.  The guideline amount is based on various factors, the most important of which are the following:

Number of children – the more children, the higher the guideline amount of child support will be.


Percentage of time each given child lives with each parent – the more time the child spends with the paying parent, the lower the guideline amount of child support will be.

Income - each parent’s income (e.g., employment, self-employment, rent, interest, regular gifts, employment perks, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, retirement benefits, etc.).  It’s easier to demonstrate through examples, than it is to explain, how the income factor effects the guideline amount.

Health care premiums – Paying health insurance premiums affects the child support amount.  A parent who must pay child support will pay less child support if he or she also pays health insurance premiums.  A parent who will receive child support will receive more child support if he or she also pays health insurance premiums.

Mandatory retirement contributions – Making payments to a mandatory retirement plan effects the child support amount.  The payments must be required by the employer, such as with fire and rescue, law enforcement, teachers and some government workers.  Payments to a voluntary plan (e.g., a 401(b), 403(b),401(k), 457 plan, etc.) have a smaller impact on the child support amount, than do mandatory contributions.  For mandatory contributions, a parent who has less time with the child and also earns more income than the other parent will pay less child support each month if he or she also makes mandatory contributions to a retirement plan.  A parent who has more time with the child and also earns less income than the other parent will receive more child support each month if he or she also makes mandatory contributions to a retirement plan.  A parent who has less time with the child and also earns less income than the other parent will pay less child support (or receive child support) each month if he or she also makes mandatory contributions to a retirement plan. 

Home loan interest and property taxes – Paying home loan interest and/or property taxes effect the guideline child support amount.  A parent who has less time with the child and also earns more income than the other parent will pay more child support each month if he or she also pays home loan interest and/or property taxes.  A parent who has more time with the child and also earns less income than the other parent will receive less child support each month if he or she also pays home loan interest and/or property taxes.  

Daycare expenses – Daycare expenses that are incurred so either parent may work or obtain job training are usually equally shared by the parents.  Daycare expenses incurred for other reasons are usually paid by the parent who incurs the expense.


 



CHILD SUPPORT

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