Child support is the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay every month to help pay for their child’s living expenses. California state law says that every parent has a duty to financially support his or her child. The court uses a program to calculate the amount of support a parent has to pay.
Child support may be requested by either parent of a child, or by the person that has legal or physical custody of the child. There are different ways to ask for child support orders, depending on the situation. A parent can ask for child support alone, or as part of another family law court case, for example, a Divorce, or Domestic Violence case. If the parents of the child are not married, paternity (legal fatherhood) must be established before support can be requested.
Receiving Public Assistance?
If one of the parents has been getting public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF), or if a private case with the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) has been opened, DCSS will automatically start a child support case against the other parent.
Child support is for the purpose of providing food, clothing, medical care and the ability to get an education.
We at WGS can are experienced attorneys who can explain to you the factors used by the court to calculate child support.
Earning capacity and the standard of living during the marriage or partnership on of the factors used to calculate support.
A judge must consider what each spouse or partner can earn to keep a standard of living close to what they each had during the marriage or partnership.
To do this, the judge looks at the:
- Marketable skills of the spouse or partner getting support;
- Job market for those skills;
- Time and expense the spouse or partner who gets support will need to get the education or training to develop more marketable skills or to get a job;
- Extent that the earning capacity (the ability to earn income) of the spouse or partner who gets support was impaired by periods of unemployment during the marriage/partnership when he or she was devoted to domestic duties.
- Domestic violence and spousal or partner support
When deciding spousal or partner support, the judge must take into account documented evidence of any history of domestic violence between the parties.
- When the spouse or partner that would pay the support is the abusive person, the judge will consider any emotional distress resulting from the violence suffered by the spouse or partner to be supported.
- The judge will also consider any history of violence at the hands of the spouse or partner to be supported against the person that would pay the support. And there is a rebuttable presumption against giving spousal or partner support to an abusive spouse or partner who has a criminal conviction for domestic violence against the other spouse or partner.