Parents in California have a legal obligation to support their children. Child support in California is based on a formula which uses income and custody time-share to calculate an amount called "Guideline Child Support." Parties can agree to different figures and schemes in order to help save taxes, and parties can agree to support which takes a college education in to account, but trial courts are usually bound by California's child support guidelines.
When one parent earns far more than the other, the court may make an upward adjustment in child support to avoid a "prince and the pauper" situation where the child lives in luxury with one parent and in poverty with the other. When the court takes such factors into account, or if the court determines that guideline child support is higher than can benefit the child, the court can make "non-guideline" child support orders.
California courts recognize that circumstances change, parents' situations and income change, and children's needs change. That’s why courts retain permanent jurisdiction over issues involving the children in California. This includes child custody and child support levels.
That means that the orders you get or got in your judgment are subject to adjustment if you (or the other parent) can demonstrate a change in circumstances that warrant an increase or decrease. Such changes include but are not limited to, significant pay raises, new jobs with a different standard of compensation, a child's developmental needs, and behavioral problems with either a parent or a child such as substance or alcohol abuse.
If you anticipate or are already involved in a dissolution matter, or even if you already have orders or a judgment regarding child support or child custody, you might benefit from speaking with one of the child support and child custody experts at the Law Collaborative, Los Angeles.
Our office is conveniently located in Woodland Hills. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at (818) 348-6700. If you fill out a case evaluation form our family law experts will contact you to arrange a consultation.
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