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Free California Child Support Calculator
Get An Idea Of What Your Child Support May Be

Do all states follow the same rules to figure child support percentages? No, but this state specific free California child support calculator will estimate it for you.

Each state has their own child support law they tend to follow. To get a general idea of what your may be, try out the free California child support calculator at the end of this article.

This free California child support calculator uses guidelines designed to be in the best interest of the children. Unless the parents have a written agreement stating a different amount, as well as a reasonable explanation for the difference, child support will be based on a percentage of the disposable net income of the parent responsible for support.

(And Free Child Support Services in California)

How is California child support determined?

In California the father and mother have an equal duty to support their child in a manner suitable to the child's circumstances. There is a mandatory minimum amount of child support outlined in the state guidelines and this amount will be used unless there is a reasonable agreement between the parents.

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Parents may make an agreement as to an amount of child support that is reasonable as part of their parenting plan or their marital settlement. These stipulated agreements are usually recognized by the court.

Agreements and stipulations between parents to compromise child support obligations or remove the case from the court's jurisdiction are void. Such agreements contradict the public policy to maintain the child support obligation of the non-custodial parent.

Some counties may order mediation to reach an agreement between parents. All agreements and stipulations for child support must be in writing. Stipulation forms provided by the court should be used.

The free California child support calculator uses state child support guidelines that consider such things as the current income of both parents and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.

At what age does child support payments end?

The child support obligation continues past 18 years of age, as long as the child is unmarried, is a full-time high school student and is not self-supporting. In this case, the child support obligation will end when the child reaches 19 years of age or graduates high school, whichever of these occurs first.

California's custody guidelines:

The California courts may award joint or sole custody based on the best interests of the child. Joint custody or sole custody to one parent based on the best interest of the child, custody to neither parent, custody to any other person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable.

In determining which parent will maintain custody, the court will consider which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent contact with the other parent. In California, there is no preference for or against joint legal custody, joint physical custody or sole custody. Complete discretion is given to the court.

In all cases, the court may appoint a child custody evaluator to determine the best interest of the child. The evaluator will file a written confidential report of the evaluation 10 days before the hearing.

California's medical insurance guidelines:

In a proceeding for child support, the court will consider the health insurance coverage part of the child support order if it is available to any of the parties at a reasonable cost through one of their employers. In any action instituted by a local child support agency for payment of child support, a completed state medical insurance form will be completed and sent by the local child support agency to the department of child support services.

How permanent are the provisions for California child support and custody ?

California court orders providing for support and custody of children are subject to change or modification due to changes in income and circumstances. Once a year, either spouse can require the other parent to complete an income and expense form to determine if a formal petition for a court order change should be filed.

Wage garnishment for child support payments:

California has a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who has been ordered to provide support. In California, all child support orders must now include language for a mandatory income deduction order. The child support is then directly withheld from the earnings of the paying parent. It is withheld much like income tax is withheld.

If a non-custodial parent can show that they are providing more than 50 percent of the support for dependents not included in the court order from a second marriage, and is not in arrears, no more than 50% of their disposable income can be attached if they cannot pay the full court-ordered amount of both orders. That number goes to 55% if the non-custodial parent is in arrears, 60 percent for a person only providing support to dependents under the current order, and 65% for a person who is in arrears and paying only on the current order.

How does joint custody work?

In California joint or shared custody may be awarded if the court determines it is in the best interests of the child and the parents have submitted an agreement requesting joint custody.

In Califormia, joint custody means joint legal and joint physical custody as defined below:

Joint legal custody - both parents share the right and responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of the child. Joint physical custody - each of the parents have significant periods of physical custody of the child.

How California determines child visitation:

In California parents are free to visit with their children at all times that are mutually agreed to by both parents. However, when parents cannot agree, the standard visitation schedule is: every other weekend, four to six weeks during the summer, and alternating holidays.

Calculate Child Support Using This
Free California Child Support Calculator
(This is also a link for local California child support agencies)

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Return to Main Child Support from California Child Support Calculator

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