Parents in California must concern themselves with many aspects of their children's lives. They need to ensure that their medical needs are met, ensure they are receiving an education, schedule activities that their children enjoy and many other aspects of their lives. They also must provide for them financially. At a basic level this includes providing food, clothing and shelter, but there are many other costs that parents must pay for their children. This responsibility is true for all parents as well.
So, even if the parents are divorced or never married in the first place, both parents are still required to provide financially. In those situations, to ensure both parents are contributing there is often times a child support order in place ordering one parent to pay child support to the other. The amount that a parent is paid is determined by the child support guidelines. These guidelines start by determining the parents' net income.
Net income for child support purposes starts by determining gross income, which includes many forms of income, whether the income is considered income for tax purposes or not. This income includes, but is not limited to, wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, self-employment income, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, social security, pension income, lottery winnings and other forms of income.
Once gross income is determined, the following amounts are deducted to determine net income: taxes, union dues, retirement contributions, health insurance premiums, spousal support being paid and financial support paid for a non-joint trial.
There are many parents in California who are no longer in a relationship with the other parent. This does not make either parent less of a parent though and each parent is still responsible for the child's needs financially. This is usually accomplished through child support. Determining the amount a parent may pay may be determined by guidelines, but determining the amounts that should be used to determine child support can be disputed. Experienced attorneys understand how to determine child support and may be a useful resource.