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Child Support

All minor children of the parents–whether natural or adopted, or born during marriage or out of wedlock–are owed a statutory duty of support. The obligation is not tied to the existence of a marriage.

The court may order either or both parents to make regular payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses. This periodic payment is called child support.

How Amount of Child Support is Determined

Child support is determined using guidelines established by California law. Child support guidelines are based on each parent’s monthly income and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent.

For the purpose of deciding child support, the court will consider income from all sources, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal law. The income can be in the form of money, property, or services.

Modification of Child Support

A child support order can only be changed by a new order or a stipulation approved by the court. Either parent may request a review of the child support case if there is a change in circumstances. Support orders may be changed if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in either parent’s earnings, a change in custody, or a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

Termination of Child Support

Child support generally continues until the minor child emancipates or until otherwise noted in the child support order. Under California law, a parent’s obligation to pay support continues until the child becomes 18 years old. However, the current support obligation may continue until the child is 19, if the child is unmarried and attending high school full time. A court may order current child support to continue after the child emancipates because of special circumstances.

Child Support Arrearage

If there are arrears (past due support) owed on a child support case, arrears may be collected until the case is paid in full, including any interest that may have built up.

Contact Us
To learn more about child support, contact the Law Offices of DeLonda K. Coleman at 916.422.1446.

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