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Determining child support payments in California

by Dinnebier & Demmerle on October 27, 2014

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  • One of our previous blogs addressed the subject of how spousal support payments are determined in California. Today’s discussion will concern the formulation of child support payments in California.

In the California court system we use the California Child Support Guidelines as well as a calculator known as the California Guideline Child Support Calculator. How does it work? The potential paying parent’s financial information is entered, including such factors as:

  • Wages and earnings
  • Payments such as government payments
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Investment income (interest, dividends, etc.)

Also taken into consideration and subtracted from the paying parent’s disposable income are factors such as:

  • Taxes, union dues,
  • Health premiums
  • Support payments already being made (spousal, other children from other/previous relationships)

However, please understand, determination of child support payments is neither arbitrary nor entirely determined by calculators. Several different people have roles in the process, including the attorneys representing each party in the divorce, the Family Law Court, and the Family Law Facilitator (FLF).

Family Law Facilitators are attorneys who work for the court and may represent people who do not have their own attorney. An FLF can provide referrals, information, and advice. His/her contributions, knowledge and opinions may be included in proceedings, which can shape or affect the outcome of the case. In a scenario in which neither side of a divorce case, for example, has representation, the FLF may work with both sides toward a solution. Again, only people without other representation may utilize the services of the FLF.

Though finances do figure significantly, the court will also take into consideration the amount of time that each parent spends with the child or children. Thus, the final decision on child support payments may be a combination of numerical and human elements. For that reason, enlisting the counsel of an experienced California family attorney may make a significant difference in the outcome.

Remember, this is our take on the law. This blog is not a comprehensive essay on the details of California law, nor is it intended as legal advice. It is merely a topical overview intended for informational and/or discussion purposes. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of how these matters may affect you, you may wish to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney. 

As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about child support payments or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.

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