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California Child Support

Practice Areas – California Child Support

When support of a minor child (one under age 18), or an adult child for whom support is authorized under the Family Code, the Court may order either or both parents to pay any amount necessary for the child’s support. The Family Code provides a statewide uniform guideline for making child support awards. The statewide guideline provides a formula for a tentative child support amount in each case. That amount depends on (1) the parents’ respective net monthly disposable incomes, (2) the number of children for whom support is being determined, and (3) the parents’ respective periods of primary physical responsibility for the children. Once these factors are known, the formula amount is determined by applying the formula to them.

The Family Code provides that the Court “shall” order the following costs to be paid as additional child support:

  • Child care costs related either to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills.
  • Reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.
    These additional child support costs are called mandatory additions. The Court can also order the following costs to be paid as additional child support:
  • Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children.
  • Travel expenses for visitation.
    A child support order normally terminates on the first of the following occurrences:
  • The child attains age 18 (except that child support for a full-time high school who is not self-supporting continues until the child graduates or attains age 19, whichever occurs first)
  • The child dies; or
  • The child becomes “emancipated,” as defined by the Emancipation of Minors Law (i.e., enters into a valid marriage, is on active duty with the armed forces, or receives a declaration of emancipation under the Act.