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Child Support

Child support is a court ordered amount of money that a parent or both parents are required to pay each month to assist with their child's living expenses.  Under California state law, the financial support of his or her child is the duty of every parent.


Either parent has the right to request child support from the other parent.  The request may also be made by the individual which has legal or physical custody of the child.


Child support orders can be requested as part of a family law action such as a divorce, legal separation or domestic violence matter.  Child support may additionally be requested through the Orange County Department of Child Support Services.


How is Child Support Determined?


The state of California has a formula (called a "guideline") for figuring out how much child support should be paid.


The judge will decide the child support amount based on the guideline calculation, if the parents are unable to agree on support.


The guideline factors included are the following:


The earnings of both parents;

Other income received by each of the parents;

The number of children from the relationship;

The time each parent spends with their children;

The actual tax filing status of each parent (examples: Single, Married, Head of Household);

Support received of children from other relationships;

Health insurance expenses paid by the parents;

Mandatory union dues and retirement contributions;

Tax deductions such as property taxes;

The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured health-care costs; and other factors.


Child Support orders may also require that the parents share the expenses for the following:


Employment-related Child care;

Reasonable health-care expenses of the child(ren);

Expenses incurred for traveling from one parent to another for the purposes of visitation;

Children’s educational needs and other special needs.


It is presumed that the guideline ordered support is correct.  The judge has discrestion to order something other than the guideline in limited matters.  The guideline amount is presumed to be correct.  The judge can only order something other than the guideline amount in very limited situations. (See California Family Code sections 4052 and 4057 for additional information).


At the Law Offices of Lisa Staight, we handle child support requests in connection with family law matters this can include child support modifications.


Child Support Calculator:


The State of California provides free access to a Guideline Child Support Calculator which is provided below for your reference:

California Child Support Self Service - Number of Dependents



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The Law Office of Lisa Staight, APLC, is located in Irvine, California, and practices law in Orange County, California.  Its attorneys are licensed to practice law in the State of California.  The Law Office of Lisa Staight, APLC, does not solicit legal business from clients located in other states.  One must seek professional assistance from a licensed lawyer in one's own state/jurisdiction.


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The Law Offices of Lisa Staight, A.P.L.C., practices law in Orange County, California and is located in Irvine, California. Attorney's of the Law Offices of Lisa Staight are licensed to practice law in the State of California