Child support is the amount of money that the court orders one parent to pay the other parent every month for the support of the children. Generally, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to contribute to the cost of upbringing of the children.
However, the non-custodial parent may also be required to pay a proportional share of the child care expenses so the custodial parent can work or get training, and a proportional share of medical costs for the children that are not paid by insurance. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the time. If the child resides an equal amount of time with each parent, the parent with the lower income may still be entitled to child support.
The amount of child support that will be ordered by the court, unless there are special circumstances that would justify veering from the “guideline”, is set according to a formula described in California Family Code § 4055. The amount of child support ordered is dependent on the following factors: the parties net disposable income; the approximate time the high earner has physical custody of the children; the number of other children supported; costs of child care; health care expenses; and whether there are extraordinary expenses associated with the children. Travel expenses and costs relating to education and other special needs may be considered by a court. There are exceptions to the formula for low-income parents. If you go to an attorney, they will likely use a court recognized and accepted software called XSpouse Dissomaster to calculate child support.
Child support is calculated with consideration of all income sources, including; commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order.
Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18, or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and can't support themselves. Parents may agree to support a child longer. The court may also order that both parents continue to support a disabled adult child that is not self-supporting.
Natural and adoptive parents must support their children until age 18. Stepparents are not normally required to provide support for their stepchildren. However, if a stepfather agrees to be listed as the father on a child's birth certificate he may, under certain circumstances, have to pay support for that child
A parent cannot stop or get rid of a support order by filing for bankruptcy, or by refusing to pay support. Refusing to pay may lead to jail. In addition, California courts will not enforce any agreement between parents that takes away adequate support for their children.
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