How Do the Sacramento Courts Calculate Child Support?

by | Feb 27, 2013 | Firm News |

Under California law, both parents have a legal duty to financially support their children.  In a Sacramento divorce case, it is very typical for one spouse to request that the other spouse pay child support.  However, calculating child support can be a tricky venture for the Sacramento child support court.

Child support is calculated in Sacramento County by usage of a specialized computer program approved by the court.  Virtually every practicing Sacramento divorce lawyer has access to this program and the courts do as well.  This program’s calculations are presumed correct and will be used by the judge in creating a Sacramento child support order.

The Sacramento child support court typically reviews each party’s Income and Expense declarations and the attached copies of the parties’ income records.  The court then enters the gross monthly figures from all sources into the computer program.  The court does not use the parties’ net income (or take-home figures) even though nobody ever receives their full gross wage.  The Sacramento child support court also enters other income sources such as self-employment income rental income, disability, unemployment, retirement/pension income, etc.  The court will also permit entry of certain recognized expenses, while other expenses are disallowed.  Typical examples of allowed expenses are health care premiums, daycare expenses, union dues, non-reimbursed work expenses.  Examples of expenses the court will not enter into the calculation are mortgage or rent payments, car payments, food/utilities costs, credit card payments, or tax bills.

After the Sacramento child support court enters all of the income and allowed expenses, the court enters the number of children of the relationship and the custodial timeshare each parent has with the children.  This is one of the most vital parts of the calculation because the more time each parent has with the children, the lower their child support obligation is likely to be.  Conversely, the less time each parent has with the children, the higher their child support obligation is likely to be.

After the Sacramento child support court runs the calculation, the court enters the figure as the order and the paying spouse is ordered to make payments.  If you have been served with a child support motion or need to serve your ex-partner with a Sacramento child support motion, please give our office a call.  It is important that you are advised of your legal rights and that one of our Sacramento child support attorneys has an opportunity to review your case with you.