Child support is ordered based on state guidelines and Local Rules of Court. Amongst the factors considered when making a child support include, but are not limited to, the number of children and the timeshare each child spends with each parent; the gross incomes and/or self-employment income of each parent; other taxable or non-taxable income of each parent; new spouse and/or partner income; and payments of health care, union dues, or mandatory retirement. In the event a parent earns bonus income, the Court can order that additional child support be paid pursuant to a bonus table when bonus income is received.
In the event either parent has a child or children from a prior marriage or relationship for whom they pay child support or share custody; or if a spouse pays spousal support to a former spouse, these factors also play a part in determining child support and spousal support.
In addition to child support, the Court may also make orders regarding payment of childcare expenses. The Court will usually make an order for each parent to pay one-half of the child’s non-covered health care expenses pursuant to Family Code Section 4063 reimbursement procedures.
Child support may be enforced by the Department of Child Support Services, whereby a wage assignment will be utilized in the collection of child support by the obligor parent.
Typically, a child support order is only retroactive to the date of a properly filed request for the Court to order such relief.
Income for the purpose of determining child support is defined by Family Code Section 4058 as follows:
- The annual gross income of each parent means income from whatever source derived, except as specified in subdivision (c) and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Income such as commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order under this article.
- Income from the proprietorship of a business, such as gross receipts from the business reduced by expenditures required for the operation of the business.
- In the discretion of the court, employee benefits or self-employment benefits, taking into consideration the benefit to the employee, any corresponding reduction in living expenses, and other relevant facts.
- The court may, in its discretion, consider the earning capacity of a parent in lieu of the parent’s income, consistent with the best interests of the children.
- Annual gross income does not include any income derived from child support payments actually received, and income derived from any public assistance program, eligibility for which is based on a determination of need. Child support received by a party for children from another relationship shall not be included as part of that party’s gross or net income.
Family Code Section 4062, provides as follows with regard to additional child support:
- The court shall order the following as additional child support:
- Child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills.
- The reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children as provided in Section 4063.
- The court may order the following as additional child support:
- Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children.
- Travel expenses for visitation.
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