California Divorce Blog–Child Support

In California Child Support is money paid from one parent to the other parent to assist with the expenses associated with child rearing.  The California Family Code refers to child support as a support obligation owing on behalf of a child.  (California Family Code Section 17402)  Generally speaking, California law required both parents to support their minor children “in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances.” (California Family Code Section 3900)

All minor children of the parents are owed a duty of child support.  The obligation to support a child is not limited to the parents’ marital status nor is it limited to biological offspring!  (California Family Code Section 7602; White v. Marciano (1987) 190 CA3d 1026, 1031, 235 CR 779, 782)

Once the issue of parentage is determined, the court will move to decide the issue of child support.  A finding of parentage occurs when the court makes a finding as to who are the child’s legal parents.  In California, courts will use a program called Dissomaster which is a computer program.  The judge will input data into the Dissomaster program to determine the amount of child support one parent will be ordered to pay the other parent.  The types of data include 1) the amount of custody each parent has 2) the respective incomes 3) the monthly expenses 4)hardship expenses 5) multiple other expenses and data.  The Dissomaster will provide a child support number which the court will usually accept and order the supporting parent to pay the non supporting parent.

The guideline formula for computing child support is provided algebraically as follows:  CS = K [HN -(H%) (TN)] (See California Family Code Section 4055(a)).

CS equals Child Support;

K equals the amount of income to be allocated for child support as set forth in Family Code Section 4055(b)(3);

HN equals high earner’s net monthly disposable income;

H% equals approximate percentage of time high earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent (where the parents have different time-sharing arrangements for different children, H% equals the average of the approximate percentages of time the high earner spends with each child);

TN equals total net monthly disposable income of both parties. (See California Family Code Section 4055(b)(1).

Child support, unlike spousal support, is not tax deductible to the paying spouse.  Furthermore, child support is not taxable as income to the parent receiving the child support.  It is important to have your attorney request child support payments at the outset of your divorce case if you are eligible to receive child support.  The issue of child support is a complex matter and should be discussed with your attorney.  For further questions, please contact Attorney Keith F. Simpson today at 310-297-9090 or read more about California divorce and family law at his websites http://www.simpsonlaw.net or http://www.caldivorce.net

Keith F. Simpson is a Manhattan Beach, California lawyer who practices law throughout the State of California. Call Attorney Keith F. Simpson today with your child support or divorce question.

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