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Information from Experienced Family Law Attorneys

California law provides for several different elements of child support as follows:

  • Guideline child support is a mandatory payment, calculated by a formula set forth in the Family Code. Essentially, the Court is required to make findings as to the gross and net income of each party, tax filing status and child sharing percentage (as well as other adjustments) and order a presumptively mandatory payment.
  • In addition to guideline child support, the Court is required to make an additional support order to provide for the payment of uncovered medical bills and daycare in order for either parent to work (or obtain education necessary for employment). Although the provision in the Family Code specifying these add-ons for support is mandatory, there may be discretion with how the Court determines which additional payments are required. For example, there may be a dispute as to whether daycare or preschool is necessary. There may also be disputes as to whether or not medical bills incurred by one parent were reasonable and what pro rata share each parent should contribute.
  • The Court can also order discretionary add-on items in addition to the above two mandatory elements of child support. These discretionary items may include the cost of private school, tutoring or other special education needs or activity expenses.

Although not required by California law, at times parents will agree to pay additional expenses for their minor children or college expenses for their adult children. Clients need to understand that once they agree to a court order that provides for non-mandatory payments for the benefit of their children, and such an agreement is made into a court order, they generally will be bound by these additional support requirements.

Help for Child Support Cases in San Diego County

Our San Diego family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC are experienced in advising clients who wish to make provisions for the benefit of their children above and beyond that which would be required by California law. It is important the client have knowledgeable counsel before entering into any such obligation. Fill out a contact form to learn more about our firm.

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