FAQ About Child Support in California


When two parents decide to part ways, often the first order of business is the children. Deciding upon child custody arrangements and calculating child support payments are two of the main areas in any family divorce. Because every family is different, many people have questions about how child support will affect their unique case. While only a qualified child support attorney can give you specific answers about your circumstances, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the subject:

Q: What factors are weighed, when calculating child support?

A: Generally speaking, there are a handful of main areas that the judge will consider, when deciding on a child support case. These include:

  • Child’s standard of living prior to divorce or separation
  • Child’s needs, including education, day care, health insurance, any special needs
  • Income and expenses of custodial parent
  • Income/ability to pay of paying parent

Q: Once the child support order is established, can it be changed?

A: Yes, under certain circumstances. Support payments and schedules may be changed for a variety of reasons, such as: job changes, temporary disability or hardship, cost of living increase, new income from remarriage, and many more. If you would like to modify your child support agreement, speak with your attorney.

Q: What are the associated taxes with child support?

A: Child support payments are not considered income by the federal government. If you are the receiving parent, you do not have to claim this money on your tax return, and if you are the paying parent, you cannot deduct this expense. This is different from alimony, which is subject to taxes.

Q: My ex is refusing to pay child support. What are my options?

A: The law is on your side, and there are many ways to enforce court-ordered child support. Your local district attorney can impose certain punishments to failing to pay support, including wage garnishment, seizing of property, withholding tax refunds, suspending licenses (occupational, business, and/or driver’s), passport denial, and more.

Q: I’ve filed for child support from my ex, but he is saying he’s not the father. What can I do?

A: In order to obtain child support, you will first have to establish paternity. You can request a paternity test from your ex, or have the court order one if he’s uncooperative.

When you have questions about child support in your divorce case, reach out to us at the McKinnon Law Firm. Ask for your free consultation to get started.  

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