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Guidelines for child support in California

When parents decide to divorce, one of their primary concerns is clearly the welfare of their children. Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children. Additionally, divorce is likely to affect a child's lifestyle and standard of living. For this reason, the California courts work diligently to ensure that child support is required for the benefit of the children involved. 

The purpose of child support is to require both parents to actively participate in providing for their children. The custodial parent generally provides for the basic needs of the child such as food and shelter as well as the child's other needs. Through child support payments, the non-custodial parent assists with providing for these needs. This support is generally ordered until the child turns 18 as long as he or she is a full-time student, the child finishes 12th grade or the child turns 19 (whichever event occurs first).

In order for children to continue to enjoy a lifestyle, health benefits and educational benefits similar to that experienced prior to the divorce, it is important for each situation to be reviewed. This review is generally conducted by the courts in order to establish the child support in each given situation. Additionally, there are a number of factors which go into each decision.

In establishing the appropriate amount of child support, the California courts typically look at the actual and/or potential income of each parent. The number of children, tax status, health insurance expenses and other financial issues are also taken into consideration. Under certain circumstances, the courts may deviate from the suggested guidelines as indicated by their collected data. Experienced legal counsel can assist provide guidance through the child support determination process.

Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "California Child Support Calculations", Accessed on March 4, 2017

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