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California Family Law
In the state of California, child support is awarded to the parent who has legal and physical custody over the child. Child support is monetary payments for the child's every day expenses such as:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • School costs

States must follow the guidelines provided by Federal Law when awarding child support. These guidelines determine the base amount of child support to be paid, to ensure that award amounts are not insufficient. In 1984, California legislature passed the Agnos Minimum Child Support Standards Act. This Act mandated the statutory minimums for courts issuing child support.

How California Determines Child Support
In California, support is calculated by a formula which takes into consideration the number of children (under the legal age of 18) that need support and the income of the parent paying support. This formula is based upon studies that were conducted to determine the normal costs of raising children such as shelter, food, clothing, schooling, and other every day needs. Child support awards vary by case and they are determined by how much money would be spent on the child if the divorce had never happened.;

Typically, a judge will calculate child support by:

  • Totaling the monthly net income of both parents,
  • Finding the percentage of income contributed by the non-custodial parent,
  • Multiplying the percentage by the number of children within the household,
  • Deriving the minimum amount of child support to be paid.

Child Support Payments
The non-custodial parent must pay child support until the child turns the legal age of 18. If the child does not graduate from high school at the age of 18, child support may be paid until the child turns 19. If the child is mentally or physically disabled, child support may be awarded beyond the age of 19.

Payments for child support are generally automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent's paycheck.

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