Child Support

In California, child support is determined using a mathematical formula codified in Family Code Section 4055. The most important component is the respective income of the parents. The next most important is the amount of time the parents have custody. Changes in custody time can sometimes result in modest changes in child support payment amounts.

Child support calculations are uniformly made using a computer program. The one used in Los Angeles is called the Dissomaster. Both family law attorneys and the family court judges use the program. While it takes into account the income of the parties and the amount of time each parent spends with the kids, the most important factor is income.

Child Support Amounts Can Be Modified

Child support can be reduced or increased by making a court motion. If the facts support it and you make a formal motion to the court for a modification, you can have support increased or reduced. For example, if the parent receiving the child support inherits money, gets a large raise, or otherwise has an increased ability to support the children, support payments may be reduced for the paying parent. Or, if the paying parent loses his or her job, the court can be asked to reduce support during the period of unemployment or lower income.

Child support orders cannot be changed simply because one parent desires a change. A change in the support amount will be based on evidence proving that sufficient grounds exist to make the change. This requires showing the circumstances have changed from what they were when the order was entered. (In the many years a child support order remains effective, the parents’ circumstances may change many times and so may the child support order.)

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However, as mentioned above, income is key. Big changes in custody time can result in modest changes in child support payment amounts. So, get an estimate of the changes before going to court to seek an amendment. And remember, it’s always better to work out a stipulation (agreement) with your spouse and then have the stipulation on the changed amount submitted to the court for approval.

Try to Work with Your Ex-Spouse

The court will always be more likely to approve your request for modification if you work with the other parent on an agreement. Remember that, while child support affects both parents financially, it can greatly impact the wellbeing of the child. When two parents mutually agree upon a modification, that generally means circumstances will be better for the child.

If you want help with your child support payments, call us. We have more than 20 years of experience representing both the paying parent and the receiving parent. We can fight for your rights to ensure you get the best deal.

Child Support Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

I have practiced law in Southern California for more than 25 years, and my highest priority has always been to put my clients’ needs first. I am willing to negotiate early, settle your case, and take your case all the way to court when needed. My unique approach has helped me receive top ratings from both Avvo and Martindale. If you have a child support matter that you’d like to discuss with an attorney, reach out to me today. I will analyze the facts and apply my strong understanding of the law to obtain the best result possible for your case.