Focusing On Family Law – And You
In California, child support is determined by a mandatory guideline formula that takes into account several factors. To calculate child support in California, you can use the online Child Support Guideline Calculator provided by the California Department of Child Support Services.
Factors that affect child support
The guideline formula for child support considers several factors that affect how much each parent can contribute to their child’s needs. Some of these factors are the gross incomes of both parents. This includes income from any source of income.
The court may also impute income to a parent who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, meaning that the court will assume that the parent earns a certain amount based on their education, skills, work history and availability of jobs in their area.
The amount of parenting time each parent has with the child is also a factor. This is also known as the time-share percentage or the physical custody percentage. It is calculated by dividing the number of hours that each parent spends with the child by the total number of hours in a year.
The tax filing status of each parent affects how much taxes each parent pays or receives from the federal and state governments. The court will consider whether each parent files as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow(er).
The court will also consider whether each parent claims any dependents or tax credits on their tax returns. The more taxes a parent pays or the less they receive, the more child support they will have to pay or the less they will receive.
The number of children in the family is also factored in. This affects how much each parent needs to spend on their children’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. The more children a parent has to support, the more child support they pay or receive.
Yet another factor is the cost of health insurance for the child. This includes the premiums that each parent pays for their own health insurance coverage and their child’s health insurance coverage. The court will consider whether each parent has access to affordable health insurance through their employer or a government program.
The court will also consider whether each parent pays for any out-of-pocket medical expenses for their child.
The more health insurance costs a parent pays for their child, the less child support they will have to pay or the more they will receive.
Another consideration is the childcare costs for the child. This includes the fees that each parent pays for any licensed or unlicensed daycare, preschool, after-school care, etc.