Child Support-- Do you Need to Increase or Decrease It??
California Child Support Guidelines
After the determination of a parent–child relationship, the next step is to calculate the appropriate amount of child support. The formula used to calculate the appropriate amount of support is known as the child support guidelines. California law provides guidelines to courts for setting the child support payment amount.
Child Support guidelines are based on each parent’s net disposable monthly income and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent. For the purpose of deciding child support payment amounts, the court considers income from all sources, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal law. The guidelines came into effect as part of an effort to make the calculation less of a judgment call and more of a mathematical equation. Examples of circumstances that can affect the calculated child support amount include a child’s educational expenses, special needs expenses, or travel expenses for a distant parent.
The income can be in the form of money, property or services, and includes:
Wages from a job
Disability and workers' compensation
Social Security or pensions
Any payments or credit due or becoming due, regardless of the source, including lottery and prize winnings
Usually, a new spouse's income is not considered in setting support, however, we have seen judges consider the effect that such income has on the net disposable income; therefore, it's probably worth a shot to mention it if you are the receiving party, or where the difference in incomes between the two parents is vastly different.
The court determines net disposable income for each parent by considering certain items form his or her income, including:
Ordinary union dues
Ordinary retirement contributions
Child or spousal support actually being paid
Costs of raising children from another relationship
The court uses the net disposable income for each parent
and the percentage of time each parent spends with kids: