Child Support

California law imposes an equal obligation on both parents to support their minor children to the best of their ability according to their general stations in life.

The amount of support a parent pays is based on a complex formula that is in the Family Code. There are a few computer software programs that the Courts use to calculate support based on the formula, such as DissoMaster and Xspouse. These programs are available for free use in public facilities such as the courthouse, but generally they are not free on the Internet.

The biggest factors in making the calculation are the percentage of time each parent spends with the supported child, the income of each parent, the number of children each parent is obligated to support from any relationship.

A parent who has been found to intentionally not work, or to work at a level below his or her ability, is subject to having his or her income "imputed" by the court.

Other factors include the tax filing status of the parties, health insurance and child care costs, retirement contributions and union dues.

Parents who have 50% custody of their children and have equal incomes and deductions often do not pay child support to each other. However, having 50% custody does not ensure that a parent will pay no child support, especially if his/her earnings are substantially greater than the other parent.

Ms. Callahan has current and updated DissoMaster software and she can calculate the estimated child support figure for you based on the information you provide.

Ms. Callahan has considerable experience in obtaining child support orders, whether it be in divorce or other proceedings available.

Christine D. Callahan, Attorney at Law

925.685.2665

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