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Child Support Basics in CA

How much child support will I be forced to pay in California?

Child support is roughly determined by two factors:

  1. The time each party shares custody of the minor; and
  2. The earnings of both parties.

To calculate child support, the court uses a child support calculator software program. All the courts in California use a software program called “Dissomaster” to calculate child support because the formula is complex. This program ensures consistency across the board no matter what the county in California.

However, it is important to understand that the court is not supposed to just punch numbers into a computer to arrive at a child support calculation. The court must also exercise discretion to achieve fairness and equity. This is where a good lawyer will make a difference in your case by arguing why the court should “stick to the guidelines” or deviate from them.

Can I modify child support?

Yes. You can always ask the court to modify child support if there has been a change in circumstances. Common reasons for requesting modification include change in income of one or both of the parties.

Is my spouse or domestic partner’s income going to be counted for child support?

The Court usually uses the parents’ incomes only to calculate child support. But, the Court can ask about your spouse or domestic partner’s income for tax or other purposes.

Do I still have to pay child support if I have 50/50 custody?

If you make more money than the other parent, you may still have to pay some child support.

Will the Court consider that I have other children to support?

The Court may take into consideration of other child support orders and other children in your home that you support. The Court usually does not take stepchildren or grandchildren into consideration.

How long do I have to pay child support?

You will pay until the child is 18 years old and he or she graduates from high school. If your 18-year-old child is still a full time high school student and still lives with a parent, you must pay child support until your child graduates or turns 19. For adult disabled children, see a lawyer about the issue of adult child support.

If you have a child support issue, contact us today to see what Dream Law can do for you.