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Certified Family Law Specialist Fights for Child Support in Woodland Hills & Pasadena

How child support is calculated

In California, child support is determined by a mandatory mathematical formula that takes into account the number of children involved, the amount of time the children spend in each parent’s home and each parent’s net monthly income (the “guideline formula”). Typically, the most difficult aspect of determining child support is establishing the parents’ net monthly income. In determining this, the court can consider all of the following factors, among others:

  • Child or spousal support received or paid from previous marriages
  • Raising children from another marriage
  • Which parent pays for the child’s health insurance
  • Which parent pays for day care costs
  • If a parent claims itemized deductions, such as home mortgage interest and property taxes
  • Income from sources other than employment such as investment income, rental income, capital gains, etc.
  • Union dues or other paycheck deductions
  • Irregular income such as bonuses, lump-sum payments or severance payments
  • If either party has another partner to help contribute to expenses
  • Which parent pays the costs of private school and/or extracurricular activities
  • Whether a parent receives benefits or perks from his or her employment

Determining the net monthly income of a self-employed individual often presents significant difficulties. What a self-employed individual reports as income on his or her tax returns seldom tells the entire story. Our attorneys are experienced in such matters, and we have a network of professionals, including forensic accountants, to assist us in the often very complicated process of determining all of a self-employed individual’s income.

Loss of job or reduction of income impacts child support

A child support order remains in effect until the child dies, marries, becomes emancipated, reaches the age of 18 and is no longer a high school student, reaches the age of 19  or until further order of court, whichever  occurs first.

If you lose your job, your income goes down, you become disabled or something else drastically changes your income, you can ask the court to modify your child support order based on the new circumstances.

Child support does not automatically change when your income changes or ends. Rather, you must take the affirmative step of seeking modification through the court. If you fail to do so, the order remains in effect and unpaid support continues to accrue, with interest at the legal rate of 10 percent.

Child support is among the strongest obligations provided by law. Accumulated unpaid child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The methods available under the law to enforce child support orders far exceed the methods available to enforce other court orders and judgments. Except in very special instances, unpaid child support cannot be forgiven or reduced except by paying what is owed.

Schedule your appointment with Woodland Hills attorneys skilled in child support issues

Our experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven A. Blunt can help you determine the level of support you are owed or should be paying. We can also establish if your circumstances might warrant forgiveness of accumulated support. Call 818-337-3595 or contact us online.