Non-custodial parents can be compelled to make monthly payments to cover the expenses associated with raising a child. In California, the amount that has to be paid will be determined by a judge who will use a state-wide guideline and who will issue the child support order.
Both parents have a legal responsibility to support their child. However, the child support order that will be issued will take into account the income of both parents and how much time each parent spends with the child.
A parent may be obligated to continue to provide child support until the child has reached 18 years and is a high school graduate. Child support may also continue until a non-high school graduate is 19 years of age. If the child has married, died or has become emancipated, a parent's duty to pay child support may end. Both parents may also be required to provide continued support for a disabled adult children as well.
To calculate the amount the non-custodial parent will have to pay in child support, the judge will consider each parent's net disposable income. The information will come from an Income and Expense Declaration that each parent is required to complete.The court will also consider any other sources of income. This may include overtime, commissions, rental property income, interest from investments, and gambling winnings.
Once an order has been issued, a non-custodial parent should take it seriously. Attorneys will remind their clients that the penalties attached to a failure to pay child support can be severe.