How does a court determine the amount of child support that I must pay?

Child Support in California

How does a judge determine child support in California?

Following a 15-year marriage, you and your spouse mutually agree to obtain a divorce. Now, your ex-spouse is requesting that you pay child support to help her care for your two minor children. Is she entitled to this payment? How much will a court award her?

The experienced child support attorneys at Wallin & Klarich understand how stressful this situation can be and are ready to represent your best interests in family court.

How a Judge Determines Child Support in California

Child support in California is awarded to ensure that parents have the financial means to provide for their minor children’s well-being. The court will consider the following factors in determining the amount of child support:

  • How much you presently earn or are capable of earning in the future;
  • The number of children that you and your ex-spouse had during the marriage;
  • The amount of time that you spend with your minor child or children;
  • Educational costs, such as private school tuition; AND
  • Any hardships that justify deviating from a child support order.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

modify child support

You may be able to modify child support to save money.

California Family Code Section 3653 states that a monthly child support order may be modified or terminated if you can show good cause. Child support orders can be modified to meet the changed needs in the parents’ or child’s life due to unforeseen circumstances. Either parent can petition the court for a modification, but the court will only grant the petition if there is a significant or material change in your ability to pay the child support amount.

The court may consider the following circumstances in deciding whether to modify or terminate a monthly child support amount:

Change in employment

If you were laid off or fired from your job, a court may lower your child support obligations until you find another job. However, if you were not fired or laid off, but voluntarily took a lower paying job, then a court will be reluctant to lower your monthly child support payment.

Disability of the parent or child

A court may modify a child support order if you or your child has suffered a disability. For example, if your child is paralyzed following a car accident, your monthly child support payment may be increased. Alternatively, if you suffered a stroke and are unable to work, a court may reduce your monthly child support payment.

How to Pay Child Support

California Family Code Section 5230 states that when a family law court orders you to pay child support, your employer will deduct that amount of support from your paycheck. This amount will be given to your ex-spouse to satisfy your monthly child support obligations.

Alternatively, you and the other parent may agree to a child support arrangement if the matter is not brought before a family law court. For example, imagine that you and your spouse agree to obtain a divorce. If the two of you can mutually agree on a child support arrangement without going to court, then your wages will not be garnished. In this situation, you and the other parent can work out how the child support will be paid. If the parent does not pay under an “out of court” agreement, the parent who does not receive the child support cannot take legal action to hold the other parent in contempt since there was no court order entered.

Call the Child Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

The skilled family law attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully assisting clients in modifying or terminating child support payments. At Wallin & Klarich, we approach every case with the belief that the person we are representing could easily be one of our own family members. We have seen firsthand how stressful child support matters can be for our clients and their loved ones. We are committed to being available to our clients at all times- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Torrance, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Victorville, San Bernardino and Ventura.

Call us today at (888) 749- 7428. We will be there when you call.

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    Paul Wallin is the senior managing partner at Wallin & Klarich. With over thirty years of experience handling many types of criminal defense cases, Paul Wallin has a tremendous amount of knowledge when advocating for his client´s rights. Paul Wallin prides himself in going the extra mile to put his clients at ease especially when they are facing allegations of criminal misconduct and are stressing over it. Many have trusted Paul Wallin and his team at Wallin & Klarich to assist them in their darkest hour.

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