Child Support Information

California has a formula (called a "guideline") for figuring out how much child support should be paid in all cases.

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. Click here to learn more about when child support ends.

You can ask the judge to make a child support order when you:
1. Get a divorce, legal separation or annulment;
2. Establish parentage; or
3. Get a domestic violence restraining order.

Parents who have signed a voluntary declaration of paternity, OR are married, or are registered domestic partners and don't want to get legally separated or divorced, can also ask for a child support order when they file a Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children.

Either parent can later ask the judge to change the amount if the situation changes.

Child Support in California is governed on a child support formula which can be found in the Family Code. It is a very complicated formula which takes into consideration, among other factors, the income of both parents and the amount of time the child actually spends throughout the year with each parent. Other factors that the formula includes are such things as mandatory retirement contributions by either parent, the amount either parent pays for medical insurance through their employment and required union due payments. Child care is also considered in any child support case, and generally the cost of any child care that a parent incurs in order to allow that parent to attend work or school will be split 50/50 between the parents; this amount will be added as additional support to any child support guideline amount calculated.

If you have any questions about child support, please do not hesitate to contact Goodrich & Cheung, LLP, at 858-429-9958. We look forward to serving you.