The amount of child support you will receive or pay is determined by a computer program that calculates “guideline child support”. The main factors considered in the computer program are your and the other parent’s income and the non-custodial parent’s visitation time with the children. But there are many other financial factors that are included in the support calculations.
The Court has very little leeway or discretion to vary from the guideline support amount. However, determining child support is not easy and there are many significant factors and issues that must be considered.
You need an experienced family law attorney who knows what to look for to protect your rights.
Call me at 510-306-1055 for a consultation to discuss the unique facts in your case and how to best protect your interests.
Child support actually starts with determining who has physical custody of the children and how much visitation time each parent has. These issues have to be decided to make a child support order and are often very contentious issues.
Next the court has to determine each parent’s income which is easy if both are employees getting a paycheck. But what if one or both of you are business owners? What if one or both parents have sizeable assets or rental property income? What if one parent lives rent or mortgage free or gets gifts from relatives?
Determining someone’s income for support can be a difficult and complex issue that has a huge impact on the amount of child support.
What if one parent quits their job or isn’t working? Can you ask the judge to impute income to the other parent if they are not working? You need to know how the judge will likely deal with these issues.
What about the child’s health care coverage, uncovered medical expenses, day care or after school care costs and extracurricular activities’ costs, how are these divided between the parents?
Both parties have a duty to support their children that the Court can enforce until they are 19 years old, or 18 years old and out of high school or emancipated. And child support is often a substantial amount of money each month. For these reasons you need an experienced family law attorney to help you.