How is Child Support Calculated?


California Family Code Section 4053 states the guidelines for awarding child support to either spouse for the benefit of the child(ren) is based on the following: 

  • A parent’s first and most important obligation is to support their child based on their circumstances;
  • Both parents are mutually responsible in supporting their child (or children);
  • Each parent should pay for the support of their child (or children) based on their financial ability;
  • California places the interests of children as the state’s top priority;
  • Children should share in the standard living of both parents;
  • Where both parents have high levels of responsibility for the children and share increased costs of raising the children in two homes, there should be a minimization of significant disparities in the children’s living arrangements as between the two homes;
  • The children’s financial needs should be met through private financial resources as much as possible;
  • California law presumes that the parent that has primary responsibility for the children automatically contributes a significant part of his/her resources to the child;
  • California’s child support guidelines encourage fair and efficient settlements between the parents, minimizing the need for litigation; and
  • “Child support orders must ensure that children actually receive fair, timely, and sufficient support reflecting the state’s high standard of living and high costs of raising children compared to other states.”

Because of the array of factors used in determining child support awards, it is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney to better understand these factors, as well as other considerations that may be used in determining such awards.

Authored by IRWIN & IRWIN.

IRWIN & IRWIN Family Law is located in Fullerton, California.  We provide a full suite of family law services from divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody issues, domestic violence restraining orders and representing minors in court.  “Every situation is different, and some come with very complex financial issues.  Our legal team is here to support you during a very troubling time and prepare you for court, or to at least help negotiate or mediate the issues out to establish an equitable legal resolution,” says Kelly Irwin, Senior Litigator at the firm.