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Child Support Add-Ons and How They Are Apportioned

Fri 28th Jun, 2024 Family Law

If you are getting a divorce and you have children, child support is likely a top-of-mind issue for you. Both parents are responsible for the care and maintenance of their children under California law. Typically, the non-custodial parent (i.e., the parent the children do not live with most of the time) must pay child support to the custodial parent, which varies according to several factors. In some cases, the family law court will also order add-on child support. If you would like to seek add-on child support or have been ordered to pay it, a Stockton child support lawyer can assist you. 

How Child Support Is Calculated in California 

Like most states, California uses structured guidelines to calculate child support. Generally, the guidelines first calculate each parent’s net disposable income, which is their income left over after taxes, health insurance, job-related costs, and other expenses are deducted. That information is then fed into a complex formula that takes into account the combined total income, the higher-earning parent’s income, and the amount of time the higher earner will have physical custody of the children. The court may deviate from the guideline-recommended amount if it determines that a deviation is in the best interest of the children. 

Types of Child Support Add-Ons 

On top of the basic child support amount, the court may order the parents to contribute additional amounts known as “add-ons.” 

The California family code authorizes the following mandatory add-ons: 

  • Childcare costs related to employment or reasonably necessary education and training for employment
  • Reasonable uninsured healthcare costs for the children (e.g., copays, deductibles, prescriptions, etc.)

The code also authorizes the following discretionary add-ons: 

  • Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children (e.g., sports, extracurricular activities, tutoring, etc.) 
  • Travel expenses for visitation 

Apportionment of Child Support Add-Ons

The costs of add-on child support typically are apportioned equally to both parents unless one parent requests a different apportionment scheme. This could occur, for example, where one parent’s income is significantly higher or lower than the other parent’s income. In the case of mandatory healthcare costs, one parent may pay the entire cost and then seek reimbursement from the other parent. Alternatively, a parent may pay their half of the costs and then request the other parent to pay their half directly to the healthcare provider. If one parent fails to pay their share, the other parent may seek an enforcement order from the court, which may include a request for reasonable attorneys’ fees. 

Speak to a Stockton Child Support Lawyer For More Information About Child Support Add-Ons

If you are seeking a child support add-on or believe that you may have to pay for one, you should discuss the matter with an experienced attorney. For more information, please contact a Stockton child support lawyer at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.

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