California Child Support
California uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. If the parents are unable to agree on child support, the judge will make a determination based on a statewide formula. The guideline calculation depends on the following criteria:
- How much money the parents earn or can earn;
- How much other income each parent receives;
- How many children these parents have together;
- How much time each parent spends with their child(ren);
- The actual tax filing status of each parent;
- Support of children from other relationships;
- Health insurance expenses;
- Mandatory union dues;
- Mandatory retirement contributions;
- The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured health-care costs; and
- Other relevant factors.
Special needs expenses, such as traveling for visitation from one parent to the other and educational expenses may be included in child support payments.
- Parents may agree on a different support amount if they meet the following requirements.
- They fully know their child support rights;
- They know the guideline child support amount;
- They are not pressured or forced to agree to this child support amount;
- They are not receiving, nor have they applied for public assistance;
- They believe that the child support amount is in the best interest of the child(ren); and
- A judge approves the agreed upon amount of child support payments.
Court-ordered child support typically ends when the child marries or registers a domestic partnership; dies; is emancipated; turns 18 and is not a full-time high school student; or turns 19.
The court may order that both parents continue to support a disabled adult child who is unable to be self-sufficient.