Calculating Child Support in California

person using calculator and pen

As in other states, California requires both parents to provide for the financial upkeep of their minor children. Even if you separate from your children's other parent, you still have an obligation to financially support them until they turn 18.

When the other parent has been given primary or full custody of the children, he or she will typically be awarded child support payments. You can prepare to pay child support by knowing how it is calculated in California.


One of the first factors used to determine how much child support you will pay each month will be the amount of income that you earn. By law, California can deduct around a quarter of your income for child support. However, the amount can be as much as a third of what you make each month.

Other Parent's Income

The amount that you pay each month will be based on how much the other parent earns. If the other parent has a relatively high income, you might be ordered to pay less than if he or she is a low-income earner. If the other parent does not work at all, you may be ordered to pay the maximum amount until the other parent gets a job and starts earning an income.

Childcare and Health Insurance Expenses

If you contribute anything toward the children's childcare and healthcare expenses, you might be able to pay less in child support. The state deducts those expenses from the amount that you otherwise would be ordered to pay. The state will consider that your contribution toward these expenses covers part of the children's upkeep each month. However, if you are not already contributing towards these expenses, it could come be included in the total amount of child support. 


Finally, the amount that you pay in alimony or spousal support to the other parent will be taken into consideration. It could drop the child support amount. By law, the state cannot force you into financial destitution by ordering you to pay the maximum amounts for both spousal and child support.

To ensure that you pay the fairest amount of child support in California, you need to hire an experienced Murrieta child support attorney to represent you. Our attorney at Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC can provide proof of your expenses and income to the court and argue for an amount that you can afford. We are here to protect your rights as a parent.

Call our skilled family law legal team today at (951) 418-2770 to discuss your child support case today.

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