There are many variables that are taken into consideration when calculating guideline child support in California, and the process can be quite complex. Although parents can agree on a “non-guideline amount” between themselves, if parents can’t agree on child support, the judge will decide the child support amount based on the guideline calculation. The guideline calculation depends on:
- Monthly earnings of each parent (or earning capability)
- Amount of other income each parent receives
- How many children the parents have together
- How much time each parent spends with their children
- Each parent’s tax filing status
- Monthly support received for children from other relationships
- Health insurance expenses
- Mandatory union dues
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Costs of daycare and uninsured healthcare costs
- Other factors
- The parties are fully informed of their rights concerning child support.
- The amount is being agreed to without coercion or duress.
- The needs of the children will be adequately met by this order.
- Neither parent is receiving public assistance for these children and no application is pending.
- No change of circumstances is needed to modify the order to guideline.
Child Support Services
If the parties agree on a support amount, they can file a Stipulation and Order in their case without having to go through a formal hearing. If the parent seeking support is receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF), the local Department of Child Support Services will automatically start a child support case against the other parent. This agency will also have to approve any order for support in a divorce or legal separation proceeding and they will collect your support for you.
**All motions or responses include a comprehensive supporting declaration.