The support of any children affected by a divorce is one of the main concerns during a divorce proceeding. Child support allows for the financial burden of raising a child to be shared by both parents, whether or not they are married. After custody has been decided, the court will determine how much one parent may have to pay to the other based on the custodial time share, earnings of the parents, and other considerations.

The child support amount is generally decided based on a statutory formula, which is referred to as “guideline support.” However, child-support add-ons may be ordered for specific items, such as costs of child-care and special needs of the children, in addition to the guideline support.

In California child support is generally payable until the child reaches the age of eighteen or if he/she is still in high school at eighteen, graduation from high school.


Modifying Child Support


In California, child support may be modified after a final Judgment if there has been change in circumstances. The custodial parent may seek an increase in support payments upon a showing that the non-custodial parent had a pay raise. Conversely, the non-custodial parent may seek a decrease in court ordered child support payments upon a showing that s/he lost a job, had a decrease in pay, became disabled and unable to work, or other compelling circumstances.

In order to have court ordered support payments modified, the requesting party must go to court and request a change. This is done by the filing of a Request for Order (RFO). Thus, the change is not automatic, and the court will not make the adjustment on its own.


Extraordinary High Earning Parent


Although child support is generally decided based on a statutory formula, there may be deviations. For instance, if one of the parents is an extraordinary high earner, the child support amount may differ from guideline amount if the high earning parent can show that the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate, and that a different amount would be commensurate with the child’s reasonable needs in light of the parent’s standard of living.

Child support depends on the specific facts of the case and the quality and presentation of the evidence. Skolnick Family Law will help ensure that all pertinent information and documents are obtained and that the evidence is presented effectively to the Court so that a fair and just child support order is made.