Child support laws in California

As per California law, child support means the monthly payment which the parents must make in order to raise a child. The court may order one or both the parents to pay this expense. The parent who spends more time with the child is called the custodial parent and generally receives the child support payment. This is obvious, because the custodial parent spends more money on the child. On the other hand, the parent who spends less time with the child is called non custodial parent and generally has to make the payment.


With California Law, the parents has to pay for child support till the child reaches 18 years of age. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. The age limit of 18 can be extended to 19, if the child is still studying in school. It can also be less than 18, if the child joins the military or decides to marry. Apart from that, if the child is suffering from a disability and is unable to support himself, then the court may order the parents to pay for child support for a longer duration.


Both the parents will have to fill a form declaring their income. After that, the judge will decide how much each parent needs to pay. The judge calculates the net income, which is basically the income after deducting fixed payments like taxes and medical bills, says brian asmus a California Lawyer. The court will also check if any parent is earning income from any other sources. If they earn any interest on their investment, bonuses or if they win a lottery, then they will also be considered.


The parents will generally have to pay for the basic expenses like clothing, food, housing and also for the child’s education. Apart from that, the court may also order the parents to pay for extra curricular activities like sports and medical bills as well.


In some cases, in order to avoid paying for child support, many parents prefer to stay underemployed. The court however doesn’t like this. If they find out that any parent is deliberately staying underemployed, then they can “impute income”. Cullen Brown, star family attorney with Mansouri Law Offices clarifies, “This is an unfortunate situation where a parent is underemployed to avoid paying child support. Impute income basically means that the court will consider the education and work experience of the parent and decide how much he or she should be earning. They fix the amount to be paid, which prevents parents from working less.”