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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.
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