Child support orders in California are based on a formula which takes into consideration each party’s percentage of time with the child(ren), each party’s income and tax filing status, as well as other factors which affect each party’s income available for support (i.e. mortgage interest deductions, 401k contributions, etc.). A company known as CFLR (California Family Law Report, Inc.) has created a computer program used by the courts in most counties in Southern California to determine the child support guideline. This program is known as Dissomaster©.
In most cases, courts have very little discretion when awarding child support pursuant to the temporary guideline formula. However, this does not make child support a simple issue, since there can be significant disputes regarding the variables that are used in the guideline formula, such as the custody timeshare and determination of income, including fringe benefits or “perks.” For this reason, having an experienced family law attorney who is able to identify the relevant issues could make a considerable difference in your final child support order.
It is even possible, based on the circumstances of your case, that the court may deviate from the guideline formula, and order a greater or lesser amount of support. To discuss this matter more thoroughly and determine if your case is one in which a deviation from guidelines might be appropriate, please contact us.
Usually, court-ordered child support ends when children turn 18 years old, provided they have graduated from high school by their 18th birthday. If your 18-year-old child is still a full-time high school student and still lives with a parent, child support ends when your child graduates or turns 19, whichever occurs first.
Child support also ends when the child:
1. Marries or registers a domestic partnership,
2. Joins the military,
3. Is emancipated, or
Parents may agree to support their children longer or in an amount different than the guideline formula. The court may also order that both parents continue to support a disabled adult child that cannot support himself or herself.