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How California child support payments are calculated

Child support is one of the most common issues California parents must resolve during their divorces. Many people have questions about how judges determine appropriate child support payments in these proceedings.

As is the case in other states, the California Family Code provides a set of guidelines that indicate how much child support parents should pay. Judges generally refer to these guidelines when making child support orders, but in some cases they may choose not to do so. The child support guidelines list a variety of factors judges might take into consideration. Each parent's monthly net income and the amount of time the children spend with each parent are among these factors.

Judges consider all sources of income, even those that are unreported or untaxed, when determining parents' abilities to support their children. Parents must disclose all of their income from earnings, investments, trusts and other sources on their Income and Expense Declarations so that the judges presiding over their cases can make fair decisions regarding child support payments. Parents who receive money from welfare programs or Supplemental Security Income do not have to include these payments as income.

Although parents are required to disclose all their income during divorce proceedings, many attempt to hide assets in an attempt to pay less in child support. This can make it more difficult for custodial parents to get fair child support orders, often to their children's detriment. Parents who suspect their exes have hidden some of their income or who have other concerns often seek the advice of family law attorneys. Attorneys often work with forensic accountants and other experts in order to locate hidden assets. Bringing hidden income to light may ensure that child support issues are decided fairly or that judges order parents to pay appropriate amounts of back child support.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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