Child Support

Over 185 Years of Combined Experience Practicing.

Child Support

Overview of California’s Child Support Laws

Child support can be a stressful, highly contested issue in divorce proceedings. While the California state legislature has passed laws to make child support calculations more uniform and fair by creating a “guideline” formula, parties often disagree over the terms of a child support order because the formula requires the input of various factors to determine the amount of support to be paid and sometimes these factors are difficult to determine.

How is child support calculated in California?

If you are facing a child support legal issue, you’re probably wondering how much child support is in California. In Orange County, CA, child support orders are issued by the family law court, which bases the amount of the order on California's child support guidelines.

These guidelines are based primarily on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of minor children who require support, as well as other relevant factors including, but not limited to:

  • The needs of the child, including health insurance, education, daycare and special needs
  • Each party’s tax filing status
  • Deductible interest and property taxes

Purposes of the Guideline

There are two main purposes for the California child support guideline: to provide a minimum level of child support and to provide uniformity and fairness in the calculation of child support. To achieve these purposes, California state law requires courts to follow the guideline with deviations allowed only in specific and limited situations.

Get Child Support in Orange County

If you are recently separated and are not yet receiving child support, Moshtael Family Law can help you take the first steps. We can create a child support agreement with your co-parent outside the court setting through informal negotiations or mediation or help you obtain a child support order from a family law court in Orange County.

Paying Child Support

If your child lives primarily with your co-parent, you will most likely be required to pay child support. Ignoring a child support order can result in serious, long-term consequences, so knowing what amount of child support to pay to your co-parent and how to submit it is important.

According to, splitting custody 50/50 doesn’t eliminate the possibility of paying or receiving child support in California. In other words, if one parent’s income is higher than the other, they may have to pay child support regardless of custody arrangements. Parents in this situation may also have to split uninsured medical expenses and child care costs caused by employment.

Is child support paid monthly or weekly?

Child support payments are monthly in California. Once the court makes a determination regarding your case, the paying parent is obligated to maintain child support on a monthly basis. If the paying spouse refuses to follow the support order, he or she can be held in “contempt of court,” which can lead to serious legal consequences.

Do both parents pay child support?

Not technically, no. According to both federal law and California state law, both of a child’s parents are obligated to provide financial support. Child support orders exist to ensure that the child enjoys the standards of living maintained by both parents. This means the parent who makes more money may be required to provide additional support to ensure this standard continues even when the child resides with the other parent, for example.

Modifying Child Support

Many times, people’s financial circumstances change. If you can’t afford to pay your child support order because of a change in your financial circumstances, we can help you obtain a modification of your child support order in Orange County, CA.

There are many other reasons why a child support order might need to be modified, including:

  • One parent has lost his or her job; one parent has been incarcerated;
  • There have been significant changes in how much time the child spends with each parent;
  • The child’s needs have changed and there are more or less costs for childcare, health care, or education; and/or
  • There have been changes in any of the factors that are used to calculate child support.

Enforcing Child Support

What happens if you don’t pay your court-ordered child support? Trying to avoid child support by being paid under the table or by hiding income and assets can seriously hurt you in the long run. Orange County family courts have a wide range of tools to enforce child support orders. Some of these tools include garnishing your wages, seizing your property, and revoking your driver’s license. You may also be unable to obtain a passport.

Hire a Child Support Attorney in Orange County

Child support is one of the most important aspects of any family law matter involving children. Once the Petition for Dissolution (divorce) or Legal Separation is filed, temporary child support issues can quickly arise.

Please call or contact our office online to arrange for an appointment about your case today.

Call 714.909.2561 Use contact form

The Moshtael Family Law Team

Get to Know Your Attorneys!

Request a Consultation

We Care About Your Confidentiality - Your Information Will Remain Private

Irvine Office
  • 17682 Cowan
    Irvine, CA 92614

  • 714-909-2561

    Open Map
San Diego
  • 3990 Old Town Ave Suite. C105
    San Diego, CA 92110

  • 619-639-9898

    Open Map

Let’s get in touch