Child Support Calculator: How to Determine Child Support Payments
Del Mar, CA – If you have children and are thinking of separating from the other parent, child custody is an issue you will likely have to tackle sooner rather than later.
“In California, family law is set up to reflect the best interest of the child,” explains Rancho Santa Fe family attorney John Griffith. “That encompasses everything from physical placement and custody of the child to supporting payments and more.”
As each case involving children is unique, it’s always crucial to consult with a family law expert before going to court.
Child Support Payments in California
Though the issue of child support in California is complex, there are a few key elements:
- Monthly costs: Child support is basically paying for the estimated monthly costs of raising your child(ren).
- Custodial parent: This parent spends more time with the child(ren) and tends to receive child support payments from the other parent.
- Minor children: Typically, child support payments are finished when your child turns 18 (or 19 if s/he is still in high school and living with the custodial parent). Some other situations may end child support early, such as if your child gets married or joins the military.
- Special circumstances: As with most regulations, there are always exceptions in child payment cases. For example, payments may be increased for substantial healthcare costs for congenital problems or if there is a change in employment status of either parent.
Documents to Prepare for Child Custody Calculations
To best give you an estimate of what child custody payments will be, these are some documents you should have at the ready:
- Tax and income forms: Having each spouse’s W2s, 1099s, tax returns, paycheck stubs, and any other similar materials will help give you a good idea of what each party’s estimated income will be.
- Other sources of income: Be it from disability, unemployment benefits, or spousal support from another previous marriage, it’s always best to keep records of anything that could be construed as additional financial means.
- Related expenses: Be it daycare, clothing or food, having documented costs of child-rearing will be beneficial when it comes to deciding child support payments.
- Health care costs: These numbers can vary dramatically based on your child’s health and can greatly impact the amount of child support awarded.
- Any other financial documents: This includes, but is not limited to, retirement funds, alimony or child support from previous relationships, stocks and bonds, property, and work-related expenses. Basically, the more supporting documents you have to paint a clear financial picture, the better.
Final Points to Consider
The State of California has developed a child support calculator to help give you an estimate of what to expect when it comes to payment amounts. Though it’s not exhaustive, it is a good starting point to get a rough idea of what the child support payments will look like.
When you’re divulging your financial information to your family law attorney and to the courts, it’s best to be consistent and straightforward. While this might not always be ideal, it will hopefully result in a smoother legal process that benefits you and your children in the end.
If you’re in a situation where child support payments may be necessary, schedule a free consultation with the experienced family law team at Griffith, Young and Lass today. These professional, compassionate attorneys will work together with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Now serving the areas of La Jolla, Del Mar, Santa Fe, Escondido, San Diego, and Carlsbad, California.
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