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What is the role of income in determining child support?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Child Support

Navigating the complexities of child support can be daunting for parents. One of the most critical factors that affect child support decisions is the income of both parents. If you are in the process of determining child support, how can you make informed decisions for your child’s future?

The child support guideline formula

In California, a statewide uniform formula calculates child support payments. First, the formula considers both parents’ net disposable income, which is the amount of money a parent has after taxes and other deductions.

When calculating child support, the court considers income from various sources, including:

  • Salaries and wages
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability and workers’ compensation benefits
  • Social Security benefits
  • Rental income
  • Interest and dividends

In addition, the formula considers the amount of time each parent spends with their child and the tax filing status of each parent. The primary aim of this formula is to ensure that the child maintains the same standard of living they would have enjoyed if their parents remained together.

High-income earners and child support

However, the formula may not always apply to high-income earners. In these cases, the court has the discretion to order child support payments that exceed the guideline amount after considering the child’s needs, the parents’ standard of living and other relevant factors.

Changes in income and child support modifications

Meanwhile, if a parent experiences a significant change in their income, they can request a review of the child support order. Depending on the circumstances, this review could lead to a modification of the child support payments, either increasing or decreasing them.

Ensuring your child’s financial stability and well-being

Understanding the role of income in determining child support is crucial to ensure your child’s financial stability and well-being. With legal support, you may advocate for your rights while protecting your child’s best interests.