2024 What Is the Average Child Support Payment in California?

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Dissolving a marriage is difficult, but those that involve children can be much more complicated. One aspect of the divorce that the couple must settle is how much one parent may need to pay the other to provide the necessary financial support for their child. Unfortunately, divorcing parents often have a sense of hesitation concerning these payments because they do not want to give the other parent money. With the advice of our California child support lawyer, you can get a better understanding of the average child support costs.

What Is Child Support?

Child support payments are determined in a divorce or custody agreement. Both parents are ordered to maintain a certain financial obligation to the children they share. These finances are used to help provide the basic necessities for their children, along with helping them maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the time the couple was together.

To be held obligated for child support, the couple does not ever have to have been married; they must only prove a connection to the child through maternity or paternity. Once an agreement is in place, only the court can modify it; parents cannot simply stop paying.

How Is Child Support Determined?

Determining child support payments means taking into account several different factors. There is no standard by which the legal system assigns payments. Some of the factors by which child support is determined include:

  • Time: The amount of time that each parent has physical custody of the child affects who pays and how much. If one parent has the child for the majority of the time, the other parent may be obligated to pay more in child support to help with the costs of providing for the child.
  • Income: A higher-earning spouse is not always forced to pay child support, but it can be a factor in the determination. If, for example, the higher-earning spouse does not have physical custody of the child, they may be required to pay child support to help the lower-earning spouse.

Determining a payment for child support can be done through an uncomplicated formula. In general, the financial gap of the parents, and the total amount of time that each parent spends with the child will determine who is likely to not only pay child support but how much they may need to contribute.

Figuring out these payments can be broken down into the following formula: CS = K (HN – H%)(TN). In this formula:

  • CS stands for child support.
  • K stands for the net income of both parents that must go to child support.
  • HN stands for “high net,” which is the disposable income of the higher-earning spouse.
  • H% is the equivalent time that the higher-earning spouse spends with the child.
  • TN is the total net of both parents.

While it may seem like a math problem from high school, California relies on this to remain equitable in its determinations.

How Do You Calculate Child Support for Multiple Children?

When multiple children are involved, the formula for calculating payments remains the same. However, there is then a coefficient used as a multiplier to determine the total payment necessary. The coefficients are:

  • 2 children: 1.6
  • 3 children: 2
  • 4 children: 2.3
  • 5 children: 2.5

These formulas and multipliers are part of California’s Family Code Statutes.

Will I Pay Child Support If We Share Custody?

The amount of custody is a factor in child support payments, but equal custody does not mean that there will not be any child support payments made. Divorced parents, or parents who never married, still have a financial obligation to their children that they must meet, regardless of their physical custody. In the end, a judge or a mediated divorce settlement will determine the amount of child support that allows for the basic needs of the child to be met.


Q: What Is the Average Child Support Payment per Child in California?

A: There is no set standard amount for child support payments in California. Each parent’s circumstance is unique and, therefore, a formula is used to determine the amount of child support payments that a parent may be obligated to. The payment is determined by the amount of physical custody that a parent may have, along with the difference in income between the parents.

Q: What Is the New Child Support Law in California in 2024?

A: Beginning in September 2024, calculating child support will no longer be based simply on the income a parent earns; it will also include the earning capacity of each parent in their income. A specified method will be used in this determination, which will allow the court system to make a fair assessment for the calculation. This will be done if the local child support agency has enough evidence to establish that assessment.

Q: How Much Is Child Support in California for 50-50 Custody?

A: Even in a case where parents have joint custody of their children, the payment for child support will still be calculated as outlined in the statutes provided. The formula will still take into account the difference in income between both parents to determine what share each parent must pay in providing for the basic needs of their child.

Q: Do You Pay Child Support If the Mother Makes More Than the Father in California?

A: Child support payments are non-discriminatory, and the gender of either parent has no bearing on its determination. Calculating child support is strictly a combination of the total amount needed to support the child, the income of both parents, and how much physical custody each parent is awarded in the custody agreement.

California Child Support Lawyer

Child support cases can be complicated, particularly when trying to determine what you might owe. However, they are also important, as they provide for the needs of your child. If you have questions about how much you may owe in child support, your existing agreement, or how to modify an agreement, contact the attorneys at the Carroll Law Office. Our team can help you find the answers you need.

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