Dedicated To Advancing Your Rights And Interests

Factors that can affect the child support order in your case

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Co-parenting |

In California, child support payments are primarily calculated using a specific formula outlined in the Family Code Section 4055. This formula is designed to ensure a fair standard of support for children whose parents are separated or divorced. However, this amount is not set in stone. According to the California Family Code, there are circumstances under which the judge overseeing your divorce can adjust the level of payment up or down.

Reasons for deviating from the standard formula

While the formula provides a baseline for child support, both parents and judges have valid reasons for deviating from this calculation in certain situations:

  • Mutual agreement: Parents might agree on a different amount, which the court will accept if it meets the children’s needs and adheres to legal standards.
  • Housing considerations: If the family home is not sold immediately after separation, the carrying costs might affect the support calculation.
  • Extraordinary income: If a parent’s income is significantly higher than average, the formulaic amount might be adjusted.
  • Contribution disparities: Adjustments may be necessary if one parent is not contributing to the children’s needs proportional to their custodial time.
  • Special circumstances: Various unique situations might warrant a deviation from the standard formula, including:
    • Different custody arrangements for different children
    • Significant disparities in housing costs between parents
    • Special medical or other needs of the children

Ensuring fair and adequate child support

As a parent, your primary concern is the well-being and development of your children. Working with a family law attorney can help you in making any necessary adjustments to ensure that the support level is both fair and adequate to meet your children’s needs. Whether you are just beginning to consider divorce or are in the midst of modifying existing agreements, professional legal advice can provide clarity and peace of mind.