Child support is a complex subject for many of us to talk about. However, it affects most American families and is a necessary part of any family law case, whether contested or agreed upon. This article will offer an overview of child support. It will be helpful to anyone facing an issue regarding child support, such as determining the appropriate amount and how that amount is calculated.
Whether you are a parent requesting child support or a non-custodial parent paying child support, it is crucial to understand child support laws in California. You may have questions about how much to pay and why. You can receive assistance from a reliable law firm in Atascadero in finding out what you’re legally required to pay.
What is California Child Support?
Child support is an ongoing financial contribution to help cover a child’s or children’s living and medical expenses until adulthood. The amount required to be paid is referred to as the child support order.
Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children under federal and state law.
The objective is for children to share in both parents’ living standards so that the court may enforce child support orders to one or both parents.
The Steps Involved in Calculating Child Support
The California Department of Child Support Services suggests:
Child support is decided following rules set by California law and is based on numerous variables, including each parent’s capacity to pay for the children financially.
The legislation requires each parent to file an Income and Expense Declaration and produce documentation of the amount of income.
In establishing the amount of child support, the court will examine income from all sources, whether or not it is recorded or taxed under federal law. The revenue might be in the form of money, property, or services.
Incredibly simple, child support is computed based on the net disposable income of the parents and the length of time each parent spends as the primary caregiver.
To demonstrate how hard it is, this is the formula California employs to compute child support:
CS = K (HN – (H%) (TN)).
The letters stand for the following:
The amount of child support is denoted by CS. This is the value that the formula will compute after you’ve entered all of your data. This sum is for a single kid. If a couple has further children, they must double the CS amount by a sum specified in the legislation, which varies by child count.
K is the sum of both parents’ income used to calculate child support. (How much of the parents’ combined income must be allocated to child support is determined by the parents’ earnings and the amount of time spent with the kid by the higher-earning parent.)
HN stands for high net: the higher-earning parent’s net monthly disposable income.
H percent is the estimated proportion of time during which the higher earner has or will have main physical responsibility for the children. (For instance, one parent may have the children 25% of the time, whilst the other parent may have the 75%.)
When parents have varied time-sharing arrangements for their children, H percent is the average of the estimated percentages of time spent with each kid by the high-earning parent.
TN denotes the total net monthly disposable income of both parents.
Now you see why everyone needs a calculator, even attorneys, and judges!
A Few Things You Should Know
Health Insurance for Children
In California, parents who get health insurance coverage via their work or the government must ensure that their plan includes a range for their children.
This is not a problem if the parents are married and cooperative, but if the parent’s divorce, health coverage for the children becomes more complicated – and sometimes even overlooked.
Following a divorce, parents must maintain coverage for their children under their health insurance.
Who has child custody in California without a spouse?
In California, child custody rules vary between married and unmarried parents. If you’re not married, the mother automatically takes custody of any children at birth. This implies that the mother doesn’t need to do anything while going through a separation. They instantly receive custody of the kid, both legal and bodily.
On the other hand, an unmarried father does not automatically have the right to custody of the kid. This knowledge is typically painful for available dads as they worry about the future of their connection with their kids.
But all is not lost, and men may regain their parental right to custody by demonstrating paternity.
On the Birth Certificate, I am listed as the Named Father. Is That Not Enough?
Unfortunately, being mentioned as the child’s father on the birth certificate isn’t enough to prove paternity. Instead, the state demands formal evidence you are the biological father. To achieve this, you may sign a statement — known as a voluntary declaration of fatherhood.
This is a basic procedure when both parents cooperate. But what if the mother refuses to negotiate custody and visiting rights? You will need to seek assistance in these cases from the courts and may benefit from mediation. You may also be required to give DNA evidence to assist you in confirming as the biological father.
Sometimes, parents elect to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity at the hospital after the kid is born. If you accomplished this, you have already proven paternity in the eyes of the law, and you don’t need to take this further step today.
A Legal Help To Understand the Process of Child Custody Laws in California
Every case is different, and every situation can vary significantly. So be sure to work with a family law attorney who specializes in your area of need. With that being said, this should give you some idea as to what sorts of orders are made during child support hearings.
We strongly recommend reaching out to the 805 Law Group, Atascadero’s full-service law firm if you are going through child support court proceedings now or in the past. We have helped many lost clients navigate this complicated process and achieve consistent, fair, and equitable results. You can reach us by calling or visit us online.