A San Jose Family Law Attorney Discusses How is Child Support Determined?

California policy is for the child's interests to be the top priority. California uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support.  Support is determined by dividing proportionally according to each parent's income verified by past w2s to decide which parent owes the other for support.  Worksheets which describe this calculation are available at the courthouse.  These guidelines, rather than the expenses of the payer, determine the amount paid.

The court's goal is for the child to receive support until he is 18 years old in accordance with the parent's circumstances and station in life.  To that end both parents are responsible, and the court will consider both parents financial ability and responsibilities in regards to the child.  Both parents standard of living of both parents should benefit the child; so, if one parent has more resources then that parent will pay support to improve the child's standard of living in the other parent's household.

If one parent takes primary responsibility for child rearing, then the court will assume that parent has the primary burden for the child and assign child support payments accordingly.  If, on the other hand, both parents are primary caretakers, then support payments may be due to establish a similar standard of living in both homes.

The formulas provided in the worksheet seek to implement these policy goals, and the court generally does not accept support payments below those guidelines.  Likewise, the court will seek to provide support payments to ensure that private, rather than public, resources are used for support of the child.  The guidelines also take into account California's high cost of living as compared to other states.  Lastly, the guidelines intend to minimize conflict and litigation with regards to support payments.  Call Sagaria Law today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more.