Frequently Asked California Child Support Questions and Answers


January 15, 2022, In Child Support

At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our Los AngelesCalifornia divorce attorney knows that when kids are at the center of divorce, their best interests and well-being are the priority.

Once child custody is agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the family court judge during their divorce proceedings, determining child support is the next step to ensuring their stability.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked child support questions asked by California parents during a divorce.

How is Child Support Calculated in California?

California child support calculations are based on statewide guidelines that the family courts follow during their financial award assessments.

California child support calculations are determined by the:

  • Number of children
  • Custody agreement/parenting plan
  • Income of each parent
  • Tax-deductible expenses
  • Tax filing status

If one or more of the children shared by the divorcing couple has special needs, they will also be considered as part of the calculations.

Which Part of Each Parent’s Income is Included in California Child Support Calculations?

The California Family Code outlines the specific forms of income to be included when determining child support calculations in California.

They include:

  • Earned income from employment
  • Cash flow from businesses
  • Investment income
  • Recurring interest income

Each of these revenue sources will be examined during California divorce, child custody, and child support proceedings.

Can the Family Court Judge Place a Cap on California Child Support Payments?

The California child support calculation guidelines are typically the deciding factors in the amount the court dictates in the agreement.

Family court judges may award higher payments under exceptional circumstances, as the state of California does not cap the amount of child support that a parent may be ordered to pay.

How Long Do Child Support Payments Last in California?

In the state of California, child support ends when the child lives with the custodial parent, turns 18, and has graduated from high school, or when the child(ren) graduates from high school or turns 19 whichever comes first.

How Can I Prove My Ex-Spouse is Not Using Child Support Payments for Our Kids?

It is common for the parent who is paying child support to question how the custodial parent is spending that money.

However, the law presumes child support is used in conjunction with the custodial parent’s general living expenses including rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and other personal household expenses.

There are no requirements that a California child support recipient accounts for the use of the money that is received, which means he or she can use the support how they see fit.

Can California Child Support Orders Be Modified When Financial Circumstances Change?

Child support modification can be explored when the custody arrangement/parenting time changes, when there are changes in the children’s financial needs, or when there are changes in paying parents’ financial circumstances.

Each child custody and child support case is unique. If you have questions about your parenting time percentage or how much you are paying in child support, contact our Los Angeles family law attorney at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC at (310) 220-0892 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.

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