A formula regarding support for a child is in place to give parents a general idea about how support works and what they may be expected to pay and receive. In California family court, this formula for child support acts basically like a guideline. There are unique and individual factors that can take the complicated and overwhelming financial data of each family and devise an approximation of what a child support amount may actually be.
Many of the factors that may affect an amount pertain to the finances of the parents. Not only is the parent's primary income included, but extra or other sources of income are included in the formula as well. The tax filing status of a parent can also impact the formula and, therefore, the amount a parent has to pay or expects to receive.
Income is not the only monetary issues explored. Any other child support obligations paid by a parent can be included in the formula in order to get an accurate assessment. Some costs associated with child-rearing also affect a support order, such as health care costs and the costs of day care for a child.
The complete financial picture of both parents and current situation involving other children will all come into play as a child support order is determined. It may be helpful for each parent to be aware of how this financial information will be used and how all financial disclosures will relate to child support. It is also beneficial for California parents to know how changes in finances or expenses related to a child can warrant a modification of a child support order. Our website has more information about the child support formula in California and child support issues in general.