3 factors that affect child support payment amounts in California

In California, the law does not favor either the mother or the father when it comes to determining custody. Instead, it focuses on the “best interest” of any children involved, what they desire (after a certain age threshold) and other circumstances. 

Child custody arrangements also affect child support, but they are not the only factor in play. The Golden State has a specific calculation, or guideline, used throughout it when determining child support. There is actually a government calculator to help with payment mathematics based on it. (As a warning, some of the categories may require more qualified assistance to correctly complete.) This guideline takes into account many considerations. 

1. Income

Income is one of the biggest elements courts look at when deciding child support. The guideline formula includes each parent’s earning potential as well as his or her current salary. It also incorporates any extra money received outside of regular employment, as well as tax filing status. 

2. Children

Since child support is for the children, it makes sense that they also count in the calculation. The number of children the parents share and the time split between households both matter. Another influence is how much support each parent is liable for in regards to offspring from other relationships. 

3. Shared expense

Daycare and uninsured health costs shared between the parents also factor in. The child support agreement may actually require that the two divide expenses like the two formerly mentioned, travel costs between mother and father, special needs and educational needs. 

The amount calculated by the guideline is generally the one used in California. However, there are a very few situations in which a judge might be able to dictate something else.