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How Much Will I Pay in Child Support?
California law dictates a formula for child support, but the calculation is not always black and white. Courts will take a number of financial factors into consideration when deciding how much child support the parent owes. Some of these include:
- Benefits from unemployment or workers compensation
- Tips, bonuses and commissions
- Interest and dividends
- Social Security
- Lottery winnings or other prizes
Other considerations include:
- Amount of responsibility for the child
- Number of children common to both parents
- Pre-existing child support or spousal support arrangements
- Amount of public assistance received
- Disability status
- Age of parents
- Exorbitant health care costs
Job expenses that are not reimbursed
- How you file taxes (Single, Head of Household, etc)
Use the state of California’s child support calculator to get a better idea of what you might be expected to pay. Please note that the results of the child support calculator are not final: they simply provide an idea of what you might be expected to pay. The judge or court commissioner will have final say over the actual payments.
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In California, you have a few different options for paying child support. The child support order should explain exactly how the funds must be issued to the other parent. In some cases, you simply send the money to the other parent. If this is your arrangement, both parties should keep accurate records of all money sent and received.
More commonly, an automatic garnishment will be imposed on the payor’s paycheck. In other cases, you can set up automated electronic payments with the state, pay online or even download an app that allows you to make electronic payments. To see all of your payment options, visit the website for the California Department of Child Support Services.