Child Support

How does child support work?

You and the other parent are both responsible for supporting your children if they are under age 18. The duty to support the child may extend beyond age 18 if certain conditions are met (such as, your child is 18 but has not yet graduated high school). In addition to child support, parents may be required to pay other expenses for the children, such as childcare, medical care and/or travel between households.

In California, the amount of support to be paid by one parent to the other is based on established “guidelines” (often referred to as “Guideline Support”). Both the courts and Bennett Family Law attorneys use the “XSpouse” and/or “DissoMaster” computer programs that calculate Guideline Support based on the statutory “guideline” formulas established under California law. Significant factors included in the support calculations are each parent’s income and the amount of custodial time each of you spends with the children. Such support (child support only) need not be reported as income for federal and state tax purposes, and the parent paying such support is not entitled to a tax deduction.

When a parent is likely to not pay support timely (or at all), it is routine for the court to make a wage assignment order, so that a parent’s employer is required to make child support payments directly from the parent’s wages.

When you meet with the Bennett Family Law attorneys, several support calculations will be run to determine the amount of child and/or temporary spousal support you may receive (or be obligated to pay) under several scenarios. Other tricky issues related to support arise when a parent is self-employed, is in a “cash” business or receives other forms of compensation such as bonuses, commissions and monetary “perks.” All those issues can significantly affect child and spousal support.

How can I run a basic child support calculation?

To run some calculations of your own, check out this handy support calculator.

Child Support

Child support can be a complex and often frustrating part of a divorce case. Who pays? How is it calculated? Can I afford to pay? Will it meet the needs of my children? When you need a competent and detailed family law attorney, we’re right here to navigate through this journey to security. We believe children and their parents deserve fair child support awards. We invite you to take some time to review a few of the basics below about child support.
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