Like most other states in the country, California uses a child support formula that judges in California must ordinarily follow in order to calculate and order a correct amount of child support. The idea behind these guidelines is to ensure that parents in the Tustin area and across Orange County and the state get treated fairly and consistently when it comes to child support.
Although the formula itself is a mathematical computation, the raw numbers that go in to the formula vary and can in many cases be up to debate. Basically, under the formula, the California court will first examine the income of each parent. This income can originate from a variety of different sources and does not just have to be from a parent's job.
In addition to calculating income, the court will also give appropriate credits for certain types of qualified expenses. Usually, these expenses will include things like what a parent spends on health insurance premiums, as well as credits for other child support orders and child support obligations. Qualified childcare expenses can also be credited.
Finally, each parent will be given appropriate credit for the support they are expected to provide for those days in which the child is residing in their home and relying on them for food and other needs.
Once has an idea of the appropriate income and credits, the formula will guide the court to the proper amount of support the child should receive overall, as well as how much of that obligation each parent should be responsible for. In most cases, though, only the non-custodial parent's obligation will get paid in the form of a check or other payment to the custodial parent.