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Given the ever-soaring cost of living in Los Angeles County, child support payments can play a significant role in the lives of two parents. For the payer, these payments may seem like an unbearable financial undertaking. For the parent receiving these payments, meanwhile, they can seem insufficient.
If you are seeking to order child support or defend yourself against a support action, it is vital to establish a proper amount of child support. The receiving parent does not want to receive less than what he or she can get, while the payor does not want to pay more than required by state law.
But how much is enough when it comes to determining child support in California? That is a tricky question to answer. Luckily, our Los Angeles County child support attorney, Candace Jones, can help you calculate child support and present your arguments in the most compelling manner in a family law court.
Under California Family Code § 3900, each parent has an obligation to support their minor children under the age of 18 “in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances.”
Parents owe their minor children a duty of support regardless of whether they are married or whether the child is their biological son or daughter (if the child was adopted).
Therefore, both parents have a duty to support their children until the age of majority (18 years of age). In some instances, the judge may extend the child support past 18 years of age (e.g., if the child is disabled).
The duty to support a child can also be extended until the child reaches 19 as long as the child is still in high school and not married.
California uses what is known as the mandatory statewide formula, which includes such factors as:
The parents’ income and ability to provide for themselves and the child financially;
The amount of time a parent dedicates to the child; and
Other discretionary factors outlined in the California Family Code §4055.
The main idea behind the formula is to reflect both parents’ standard of living to determine the appropriate amount of child support.
In family courts in Los Angeles County and across California, the guideline calculation of child support depends on:
Each parent’s earnings;
The earning capacity of each parent;
Each parent’s other sources of income;
How many children the parents have together;
The amount of quality time that a parent spends with the kids;
Support of children from past or current relationships or marriages;
Health insurance expenses; and
The filing status of each parent.
Under California law, child support payments require the parents to share the costs for:
Childcare costs that would allow the custodial parent to work or to acquire work skills through education or training;
Reasonable healthcare expenses for the child;
Transportation and traveling for visitation from one parent to another;
The child’s educational needs; and
Other special needs.
A child support order can be modified or terminated at any time, though certain limitations may apply.
If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, a parent can seek a modification of child support. If you cannot afford to make child support payments or your child-related expenses have increased, consult with a Los Angeles County child support attorney, Candace Jones, to collect sufficient proof to obtain the most optimal outcome.
Family courts in Los Angeles County are very busy, which is why most cases get only about fifteen minutes before an initial support order is put in place by the court. Only an attorney is able to provide relevant information and present your case in the most convincing manner within such a short period of time.
Contact Candace Jones, the Attorney Next Door, to discuss your case in detail. Call at 661-622-3000 to receive a free 15-minute consultation.
Child Support Payments in Los Angeles County
Calculating Child Support in California
How Child Support is Determined
What are Child Support Payments for?
Can a Child Support Order be Modified?
Contact Candace Jones to talk about your child support case. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation by calling at 661-622-3000.