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Child Support Laws in California 

In California, for the purpose of uniformity, the law uses a formula to determine the amount of child support a parent may be required to pay. This formula is complicated. Good news is that most lawyers and judges in California use a child support calculator to determine the guideline child support amount. Thus, you can simply enter the numbers and see the guideline child support amount. 

Purpose of Child Support 

The purpose of child support is simple. Parents have a responsibility to care for the financial well-being of their child. The intent of child support laws is to require parents to fulfill these responsibilities.

Establishing Child Support 

To get child support you must file paperwork with the court or your local child support agency. The process may be different depending on whether you are married and filing for divorce or whether you have a child person who you are not married with. In the latter case, you may first need to establish a parental relationship.

Who Pays Child Support 

Both parents are responsible for support of a minor child. However,  the custodial parent (the parent with primary physical custody) is deemed to be fulfilling his or her child support obligations by the mere fact that the child resides with that parent.


Child Support Calculation

Courts and lawyers use a  child support calculator to come up with a guideline child support amount. The most important factors in calculating the child support amount are: (1) disposable income of each parent, (2) percentage of physical custody allocated to each parent and (3) the number of children. For example, a parent with 20% physical will and a high amount of disposable income will likely have to pay a significant amount in child support.

Related Readings

Child Custody Modification

Child Custody Modification

In California, modifying a child custody order requires a proof of significant change in circumstances. However, like most rules in the legal field, this rule also comes with important exceptions. Here, I will discuss some of those exceptions. However, first I will discuss where the change in circumstances rule comes from and why it exists in child custody cases.

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Sabeti Law & Associates 

  • Family law attorneys in orange county 
  • Family law private mediation 

Tel: 949-326-2626

Fax: 949-899-8259

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