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Family Law - Child Support

California has a child support guideline that is used in all cases to determine the proper amount of child support. The factors that are considered in the guideline are the income of the parents and the amount of time they will be responsible for taking care of the children. In addition to the basic amount of child support, the guideline provides that parents share the costs of daycare necessary for the parents to work and also share the child's medical expenses. Child support may also include expenses to meet special needs, such as tutors and transportation costs for visiting with each parent. Both parents will be ordered to keep their child covered by medical insurance if it is available at no cost or at reasonable cost.

Parents who are divorcing or separating, or who are involved in a parentage case if never married, may agree on the child support plan, but a judge must approve the amount of child support payments.

When parents cannot agree on child support, the judge decides what the payment amount will be. Either parent may later ask the judge to change the amount if there has been a significant change of circumstances.

Nevada County has a family law facilitator who is available at no cost to help prepare forms, calculate child support according to the guideline, and provide information about how the court makes child support decisions. The facilitator can also help parents who need to collect child support that the court has ordered and to assist either parent in modifying child support based on a change of circumstances. In addition, each county also has a local child support agency that provides free services to establish paternity, support, and health insurance orders; enforce and modify orders; and locate parents. Please click on Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services to connect to the department's website or call (530) 265-7097 to speak with a child support representative.

Child support payments are usually made until children reach the age of 18, or age 19 if they are still in high school full time and not self-supporting.