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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

What Are Child Support Add-Ons? 06-23-2016

What Are Child Support Add-Ons?

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 using the 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 Support Guidelines.

  • 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 developmental disorders.
  • 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.

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