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What factors are considered when determining child support?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2021 | Family Law |

Properly caring for children with adequate child support is a key element of any California family law case. It is also the source for major disagreement and dispute. In some cases, the parents can negotiate on their own and come to a settlement without needing court intervention. Others are more complicated. When dealing with the issues related to child support, it is imperative to know how it is calculated.

Key factors in a child support determination

With child support, there are guidelines that are followed if the parents are unable to forge their own agreement. The guideline relies on the parents’ earnings or ability to earn; income; number of children they share; parenting time; if there are other children from a separate relationship; health care coverage; and anything else the court deems relevant. Other costs could be part of the determination. That includes a parent needing to get training or education to self-support, unusual health care expenses and the child’s education.

The judge can deviate from the guidelines based on the circumstances. A critical aspect of child support is the parents’ income. Specifically, the “net disposable income” meaning how much they have left over following tax deductions. If parents earn bonuses, have sales commissions and other fluctuating considerations of potential earnings, it makes it harder to come to a concrete total as to what they earn. This impacts the final amount. Regarding parenting time, the court specifically calculates when and for how long each parent is physically responsible for the child. The parent who is receiving child support might get less when spending more time with the child.

Addressing child support in a family law case may require experienced guidance

Caring for children is a primary part of a family law case. That includes determining how much will be paid in child support. Each parent will have a perspective as to what the amount should be. Knowing how the court makes its decision is a fundamental segment of any case. To achieve an acceptable outcome, it is useful to have professional assistance from the outset.

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