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  • Writer's pictureBroaden Law LLP

Navigating California’s Complex Child Support System

It can be challenging to comprehend the complexities of California’s child support system, especially for those who are not familiar with the various laws and rules. It is important to know your rights when dealing with child support in California, as the law can be complex and confusing. An overview of the child support system in California will be given in this article, along with important details about eligibility requirements and available payment options.

How Child Support Works?

The court considers the income of both parents and the number of children when deciding how much one parent should pay in child support. The party seeking child support must file a petition with the court in order to request support and get an official child support order.

The amount of child support is calculated using statewide guidelines, which assess the income of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. The court can also order an additional amount of “child support add-ons” such as childcare or educational expenses.

The obligation to make child support payments usually lasts until the child turns 18 or 19 if they are still in high school, living at home, and cannot yet support themselves.

It is essential for parents to remember that child support orders are legally binding and enforceable by law. If one parent does not comply with the terms of a child support order, they may face penalties such as wage garnishment, and even jail time. Parents should remain aware of their child support order and the rules of the court to ensure they are in compliance.

The Local Child Support Agency Inclusion

The county’s local government agency offers services to help with parentage determination and child support orders. In circumstances wherein one of the parents is receiving public assistance, the agency automatically opens a child support case. While the case is usually against the non-custodial parent, it also includes the custodial parent as a party receiving this assistance. The parents can request the agency take over the child support order services in a family law case, enabling them to work on the order’s enforcement.

Asking for a Child Support Order

Requesting a court order, as mentioned earlier, is necessary to set up a child support order for your children, and it could be through a local child support agency or directly from the family court. The nature of the case depends on the legal definition of the relationship. Parents who are divorcing, filing for a legal separation seeking an annulment may ask for a child support order or even an interim order .

Furthermore, victims of domestic violence may pursue obtaining child support when a restraining order has been placed against the other parent. Form DV-105 is required in this situation, but the court likely also review an Income and Expense Declaration.

The judge will then make a decision based on this declaration.


In California, parents can request a court order to set up child support in multiple scenarios. The procedure, which provides minor children with the necessary protection and assistance, is significant. It also ensures that everyone involved in providing for them fulfills their obligations and that their basic needs are met. Ultimately, the court order serves to ensure the child’s best interests are met. 

If you are in need of legal assistance regarding child support in California, look no further than Broaden Law. You can rely on our skilled attorneys to guide you through the challenging process and offer sound counsel. Whether it be establishing a child support agreement, modifying an existing one, or enforcing it, we can help you get the proper resolution. Contact us today and let us show you how we can help!



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