Determining child support can be a contentious part of any divorce, but
for the most part, calculating them is a fairly straightforward process.
They are based on California Child Support Guidelines, and can be estimated
California Guideline Child Support Calculator. Because the Family Law Judge or Court Commissioner has the final say
on the amount of a child support order, the Calculator can only provide
a rough estimate.
What this Calculator doesn’t account for, however, are child support
add-ons. According to
California Family Law Code Section 4062, these add-ons are broken down into two categories, mandatory and discretionary.
Mandatory Child Support Add-Ons
Judges are required to include these as additions to child support on top
of the basic guideline amount calculated through the California Child
- Child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education
or training for employment skills. This potentially includes costs related
to music lessons, sports leagues, art classes, day care, or other related
activities. It does not cover expenses like tickets for a sporting event or movie.
- Reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children, including co-pays
or any expenses not covered by insurance.
Discretionary Child Support Add-Ons
- Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children.
These add-ons are typically included for children with disabilities or
- Travel expenses for visitation. These are generally included when the ex-spouses
live far enough away from each other that the cost of plane, train, or
automobile travel is considerable.
According to California Family Law Code Section 4061, it is up to the court
to decide how these child support add-ons are paid. The default way that
the court will decide how the add-ons are paid is by splitting the cost
evenly between both parties. Either parent has the right to request an
alternate split of the cost, but must first present the court with documentation
that shows a different split of the cost would be more appropriate. If
the court determines that an alternate payment plan for the add-ons is
more appropriate, they will split the costs along the same lines as the
basic child support payments.
With these child support add-ons, you may end up being required to pay
far more than you originally anticipated. Because these costs are only
factored in after the original child support payments are determined,
it may be difficult for you to budget for your life after the divorce
proceedings are complete. Your best option will be to contact a child
support attorney who can assist you in determining what you will end up
needing to pay.
At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, our firm can provide the legal guidance
you need in these difficult times. If you are looking for the right lawyer
for you in Rancho Cucamonga,
contact us today for a free case review, or give us a call at (909) 992-0188.