Family Law - Child Support
California has a child support guideline that is used in all cases
to determine the proper amount of child support. The factors that
are considered in the guideline are the income of the parents and
the amount of time they will be responsible for taking care of the
children. In addition to the basic amount of child support, the guideline
provides that parents share the costs of daycare necessary for the
parents to work and also share the child's medical expenses. Child
support may also include expenses to meet special needs, such as tutors
and transportation costs for visiting with each parent. Both parents
will be ordered to keep their child covered by medical insurance if
it is available at no cost or at reasonable cost.
Parents who are divorcing or separating, or who are involved in a
parentage case if never married, may agree on the child support plan,
but a judge must approve the amount of child support payments.
When parents cannot agree on child support, the judge decides what
the payment amount will be. Either parent may later ask the judge
to change the amount if there has been a significant change of circumstances.
Nevada County has a family
law facilitator who is available at no cost to help prepare forms,
calculate child support according to the guideline, and provide information
about how the court makes child support decisions. The facilitator
can also help parents who need to collect child support that the court
has ordered and to assist either parent in modifying child support
based on a change of circumstances. In addition, each county has a
local child support enforcement agency that can help parents collect
child support at no charge.
Child support payments are usually made until children reach the age
of 18, or age 19 if they are still in high school full time and not