What is Child Support?
Child support is the amount of money that the court orders one parent to pay the other parent every month for the support of the child(ren).
California has a formula (called a "guideline") for figuring out how much child support should be paid in all cases. The primary factors that are considered in the guideline are:
In addition to the basic amount of child support, the guideline provides that parents share the costs of:
Child support may also include expenses to meet special needs, such as:
Both parents will be ordered to keep their child covered by medical insurance, if it's available at no cost or at reasonable cost.
Parents who are divorcing or separating may agree on the child support plan, but a judge must approve the amount of child support payments.
When parents cannot agree on child support, the judge decides what the payment amount will be.
Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18, or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and can't support themselves.
You might want to contact the Family Law Facilitator who is available at no cost to help prepare forms, calculate child support according to the guideline, and provide information about how the court makes child support decisions.
For more information, please see the Child Support section of this website.