When the parents of a child no longer live together, the non-custodial parent usually will be required to pay a portion of their income to the custodial parent for support of that child. Child Support is one area where many Courts pay special attention because they take their role of protecting the children’s needs very seriously. Parents may agree on the amount of child support, provided they state that the amount will meet the needs of the child. If no agreement is made, then child support will be determined pursuant the California Family Code, wherein the Court will determine the gross incomes of the parties from all sources, the applicable time share that the parties have with the minor child or children, and the parties’ appropriate tax deductions.
At Jarvis, Krieger Sullivan, we represent both men and women in child support matters. Regardless of whether our client receives or pays child support, the formula is straightforward and predictable. Guidelines for child support payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent are established in the California Family Code.
Key factors determining support payment in California include:
|•||The higher-income parent’s gross income|
|•||The lower-income parent’s gross income|
|•||The percent of the children’s time that is spent with each parent|
|•||The number of children|
|•||Medical insurance premiums for the party and the children|
|•||Interest deductions for each party|
|•||Special needs of the minor child, if any|
Where there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the Court may approve a modification of child support or spousal support. Such circumstances may include job loss, a promotion resulting in an increase in income, or a serious illness requiring specialized, expensive health care.
Child support is payable by wage assignment, meaning that his or her employer is required to withhold the amount of child support from the payor’s pay check and pay it to the receiving parent.
Child support is non-taxable to the receiving parent and non-deductible to the paying parent.
New mate income may not be used for child support except in special circumstances and in some circumstances it may have the effect of lowering one’s child support based upon the paying party being in a higher tax bracket by increasing the tax payment to the Federal Government.