Child Support And Family Support In California

In California, three types of support may factor into a divorce or separation: child support, spousal support and family support.

  • Child support is a payment by one parent to the other for support of their children. The purpose is to allow children to live at the same standard of living as both of their parents.
  • Spousal support is a payment by one spouse to the other spouse upon filing of a divorce or legal separation. The duration is largely dependent on the length of the marriage and each person's ability to financially support him or herself. A court may make temporary or permanent spousal support orders depending on the circumstances of the parties.
  • Family support is a payment by one parent or spouse to the other parent or spouse when both child and spousal support are at issue. A family support order designates an unallocated amount for child and spouse. Family support orders are generally made for purposes of maximizing tax benefits.

Support orders may need to change when your circumstances change. At Viola Law Firm, we can help ensure that initial orders of support are fair, and we can assist when you or the other party believes a support order should be changed.

How Is Child Support Calculated In California?

In California, the state has established a formula to calculate child support called "guideline child support." Generally, the amount of support to be paid by one parent to the other is based on each parent's income and the amount of time they spend with their child(ren). Guideline support is calculated using the assistance of a computer software program. When determining a parent's income, the court will look to earned income from employment as well as rental income, dividends and interest received. Many other variables are considered in determining child support, as well as when one party seeks to modify child support.

Talk To An Attorney About Your Situation

At Viola Law Firm, we can help you understand which type or types of support a court would be likely to order in your situation. To discuss your questions with a lawyer, call us at 650-532-9389 or contact us online. Our office is in downtown San Mateo.