Due to the extensive answer go this frequently asked question, I have broken my
response into a two part series. The first part deals with factors that apply to
the great majority of people while the second part deals with other factors that
are important, but are less frequently occurring.
The factors considered in calculating child support is often oversimplified by
so called "free calculators" that are found on the web. The reality however is
often quite more complicated.
Number of children:
The more children the parties have the greater the need for child support is.
However, child support is not equally allocated between multiple children. In
fact, the great bulk of the child support is allocated to the youngest child.
This does not mean that the older children are less expensive to maintain, but
that the lion-share of the housing/maintenance expense are boot-strapped onto
the youngest child as they will requires support for the longest period of time.
If the order is never modified, the child support will be reduced by the amount
allocated to the older children first.
A party's filing status determines both their tax bracket and their tax
liability that will determine the amount of remaining income available to pay
support. The following tax filings are available: 1) single, the party only
clams themselves; 2) Head of Household: the party claims themselves and at least
one child is with the party for more than one half of the year; 3) Married
Filing Jointly: party is married to another person that is not the other parent;
4) Married Filing Separately: parties are married but filing a separate return
or the parties have remarried, but are filing a separate return with their new
spouse. How the above filing statuses effect child support are as follows:
1) Single/Married Filing Separately: party has less tax savings as opposed to
the other filing statuses and the party has less money available for which to
pay child support. (Currently allowed $5,950 for 2012)
2) Head of Household: party has greater tax savings based on current standard
deductions. (Currently allowed $8,700 for 2012)
3) Married Filing Jointly: party has the greatest tax savings. ( Currently
$11,900 for 2012)
Obviously your selection of your filing status will impact your income available
to pay support. In addition, if you file a joint return, your new spouse's
income will be considered but only as it pertains to what tax bracket that you
will be in and what income you will have available to pay support.
A final factor in the part one series is childcare expense. Up until the child
reaches the age of 13, any childcare costs incurred by either party so that
they may work or obtain job training is treated as a child support add-on that
are equally shared by both parties. Note, this does not include summer camp.
There are also situations in which the share of childcare costs are not shared
equally between the parties.
In closing, I have touched on some of the factors that go into the calculation
of ca child support. I hope that I have also explained that some frequently
used support calculators found on line either overly restrict the input
resulting in an inaccurate child support calculation or give you a false sense
of security as to what your obligation/ anticipated support may be. I am well
versed in ca child support law and I will ensure that the outcome you receive
will be in your best interest. With an office located in Covina and familiarity
with the local courts, I will also make sure all the factors that will impact
child support will thoroughly be explored.