California has a complex formula, CS = K [HN-(H%)(TN)], that takes into consideration several factors when calculating child support. Complex as it may appear, the purpose behind this formula is to ensure that both parents have an equal responsibility to support their child. Determining a fair amount of child support is important for all sides to consider and to provide for the best interest of the child.

Child Support Calculations

If your divorce proceedings take place in the State of California and you request child support, it is likely that the judge will simply use the formula to determine the child support amount. However, there are cases where there is a valid, legal reason to deviate from California’s child support guidelines.

Child support calculations take into consideration the following:

  • The number of children who are entitled to support
  • The amount of time that each parent has with each child
  • The net disposable income of each parent.

Variation from Guidelines

There are a few situations which may cause the court to deviate from the established state guidelines for calculating child support. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • The parties themselves agree to a different amount.
  • There is a unique situation involving a family residence being sold and the rental value of the family residence where the children now reside exceeds the mortgage payments.
  • The parent ordered to pay child support has an extraordinarily high income, and the amount calculated would be much larger than anything the children would actually need.
  • The contribution amount calculated is not commensurate with the party’s custodial time.
  • The application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstances such as unique time-sharing arrangements, special medical needs, or in cases where the child is found to have more than two parents.

These variations are broad, and the court can use them with wide discretion — especially the last item. The terms “special medical” or “other needs” could be interpreted widely, allowing the court to deviate from the established mathematical formula of child support in a variety of circumstances.

Parents’ Decision

Parents can always agree to a different amount than that established by the court. While child support arrears cannot be waived, parents can come to an agreement themselves for either more or less than the guideline requirements established by the State of California. If the child support calculated is more, the agreement will be easy to implement. If the child support is for less, then the court will critically examine the facts and circumstances to ensure that the differing amount is truly in the best interest of the child.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

If you are in the middle of a divorce or are considering divorce and wonder how child support will be calculated and determined, you should visit with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Knowing the guidelines for child support, as well as how they may be altered in your specific case, can help you best serve your family’s needs. Contact  Edwards-Swift and Associates at (909) 345-2787.