Determination of Child Support Payments in California

Determination of Child Support Payments in California

Whenever the support of a minor child, or an adult child for whom support is authorized under §3901 or §3910 of the family code, is at issue, the court may order either or both parents to pay an amount necessary for the child’s support. Family Code §4001. For purposes of child support, a minor child is one under 18 years old. Family Code §6500.
The parties may not by agreement divest the court of jurisdiction to order child support. Marriage of Ayo (1987) 190 CA3d 442, 235 CR 458;Marriage of Lambe & Meechan (1995) 37 CA4th 388, 44 CR2d 641.

Child support is determined using a statewide guideline. The calculation is based on the parents’ respective net monthly disposable incomes, the number of children for whom support is being determined, and the parents’ respective periods of primary physical custody and visitation times. Applying the formula to those factors would result to the child support amount.

There is a rebuttable presumption that the statewide guideline support is correct.. However, this presumption may be rebutted several ways. It may be rebutted by stipulation by the parties to a different child support amount. Family Code §4057(b)(1). It may be rebutted by showing that the family residence sale is deferred under Family Code §3800-3810 and that the rental value of the residence exceeds the cost of mortgage payment, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Family Code §4057(b)(2). It may also be rebutted by showing that the payor has extraordinarily high income. Family Code §4057(b)(3). A showing that the a parent is not contributing to meeting the children’s needs at a level commensurate with the parents custodial time. Family Code §4057(b)(4). If the application of the guideline support would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstance of the case. Family Code §4057(b)(5).

The court may also consider specified expenses in determining child support payments and may increase it in light of these expenses. These expenses are in addition to the guideline formula and must be ordered paid by the court equally among the parents. Family code §4061. Mandatory additions include child care cost related either to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills. Family Code §4062(a)(1). It also include uninsured health care costs for children. Fam Code §4062(a)(2). Discretionary additions includes educational and special needs cost of the childrent and Travel expenses for visitation. Family Code §4062(b)(1) and (b)(2).

The court may also adjust the child support to accommodate the payor’s fluctuating income such as basing it as a percentage of the parents’ income in addition to the fixed amount. Family Code §4064; Marriage of Hall (200) 81 CA4th 313, 318, 96 CR2d 772. This is typically seen where the parent’s income fluctuates due to one time bonuses, dividens, and interest income.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail or visit our website at

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