The issue of child support is always part of any divorce or mediation case. The amount of child support you will pay is explained and determined in accordance with the California Family Law Code. In order to ensure that California law complies with federal regulations for the child support guideline, a complicated formula has been designed that looks primarily at two factors: each parent's income and the amount of time each parent spends with the child / children. There are other additional factors that may affect the payment, such as child care expenses, home mortgage payments, tax filing status, and other costs specific to your family situation.

These numbers are inserted into a computer program called DissoMaster to calculate your payment. The amount determined is the minimum level of child support for each of your children that a judge will require you to pay. This computerized calculation provides uniformity to child support throughout California.

It is important to know that during mediation, you can discuss a DissoMaster figure; however, mediation results in a negotiated agreement between both parties. Therefore, you and your partner may come up with a child support figure that may differ from the DissoMaster calculation, but may be acceptable to you based on the specific facts of your family's needs.

The principles behind the child support statutes are based on the belief that the first and main obligation of parents is to support their children in accordance with the situation and economic position of the parents in life. In translation, this means that the children of a television celebrity can receive thousands of dollars of child support a month based on their lifestyle, which can include private schools and specialized lessons. In contrast, the children of two school teachers who attend public schools could receive much less money in support.

In addition, it is important to know that both parents are mutually responsible for supporting their children. Also, please note that child support continues until your child is 18 years old or if your child is a full-time high school student and is not self-supporting, you extend until the child is 19 years old or completes 12th grade.

Additionally, the amount of the Basic Child Support Guide can be increased through "add-ons." These are specific expenses that parents can be ordered to contribute to the benefit of their children. Section 4062 of the Family Code lists two types of supplements: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory supplements that the judge must order include child care costs related to employment or reasonable education needed for job skills training; and for the reasonable costs of uninsured health care for children. Discretionary supplements include costs related to the educational or other special needs of children and possible travel expenses for visits. Both parents share these additional expenses equally, unless this is not reasonable, and then they are distributed based on each person's net expendable income.

There is a formula that the court uses to determine the parents' respective net expendable income in order to determine allowances. Family Code Section §4061 (b) states that the amount of child support is calculated first. The amount of the guideline is then deducted from the income of the paying parent, but is not added to the income of the receiving parent. Finally, if one parent is paying spousal support, the amount of spousal support is deducted from the income of the paying parent and added to the income of the receiving parent.

All of the above child support criteria are rules that apply to a case that is in litigation. During all facets of support for your children they are discussed and cared for both financially and emotionally

Author's Bio: 

Mediation is a structured process during which a neutral third party (a mediator) helps those involved in disagreements or disputes to work to find a mutually acceptable agreement that allows all parties to take part. It is a voluntary process.