Child support is a monthly payment to cover the day-to-day expenses of child/children. Both parents are financially responsible for their children, and the court may order either or both of the parents to pay Child support, based upon each parents’ income, and the percentage of time each parent spends with the children.
Child support is meant to pay for the food, shelter, and clothing during the child’s minor years. Additional expenses of the child such as work related child care, extracurricular activities, and uninsured medical and dental are generally shared equally between the parents. In California, a child is a minor until their eighteenth birthday unless they are still in high school full time, living at home, and then it ends at age nineteen.
In the state of California, the Child support guidelines are best determined by visiting a family law attorney. The family law attorney will use a child support calculator to help you estimate how much child support should be. The child support calculator that’s most often used in California are Dissomaster and Xspouse.
Types of Cases where Child support can be requested:
1. Divorce or Legal Separation:
You can request child support immediately after filing for divorce or Legal Separation. If you need to fast track the child support order, you can request a temporary order to take effect until final judgment.
2. Restraining order for Domestic Violence:
If requesting a restraining order for domestic violence against the other parent, you can also request a child support order.
3. Petition for Child Custody and Support of Minor Children:
Petitions for Child Custody and Child support of Minor Children can be requested if:

  • A. You do not wish the be divorced, legally separated, or annulled, but still want a court order for child support or custody. (Or visitation)
  • B. You are not married but have already signed a voluntary Declaration of Paternity and want a child support order.
  • C. If you have legally adopted a child together but are not married or registered as domestic partners.
  • D. When both parties have been determined parents in a juvenile case and now want to file for a Court order for Child support.

4. Local Child Support Agency:
Either parent can request a new case from the local child support agency, also known as child support services. Certain aspects of the child support are handled differently when involving the LCSA
5. Parentage or Paternity Case:
A parentage case is for unmarried couples who have children together. The case states the identities of the legal parents of the minor children. A judge may make a child support order in a parentage case.
Final notes
In the state of California, all Child custody and Child support cases are subject to change. In order to benefit the child at maximum magnitude, the court can take substantial changes in circumstance into account. Modifications can be made in the monetary amount or expenditure of time one parent is due to the child. The legal system is fluid in this regard, and parents should continue to modify their normal routines in order to accommodate “what’s best for the child”.
During a divorce or similar situation, it’s important for parents to be reminded of the long term implications of their actions.