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How Long Does Child Support Last in California?

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Understanding Child Support in California

If you’re a parent who is seeking child support, the support you receive will be based on your child’s best interests. Child support is paid in periodic payments, but how long you can receive payments varies. Here’s what you should consider.

How California Calculates Support Payments

In California, child support is calculated depending on how much they deem it necessary for your child’s living expenses such as daycare, food, or healthcare are covered.

The court will calculate how much should be paid using a guideline that depends on the following:

  • Health insurance expenses.
  • Both parent’s incomes.
  • How many children you have.
  • Amount of time both parents spend with the children.
  • Daycare costs.
  • Uninsured healthcare costs.

There are other factors a court will use to calculate how much support you can ask for using the guideline. In some cases, the court can order a different amount to be paid outside of the calculations. An attorney can explain to you what factors will potentially affect your case and how much support you can receive.

When Child Support Begins

Payment begins for minor children under 18 once the court decides on an amount after expenses for your child have been calculated. After your separation or divorce, child support starts once the court makes an order for support. You must ask the court to establish paternity and ask to make an order for child support.

When Child Support Ends

Child support payments can be made up until your child turns 18. However, child support can end or be extended for other reasons:

  • Your child is 18 years old and can’t support themselves.
  • They’re a full-time high school student and can’t support themselves.
  • You and your ex agree payments should be extended past what’s required by law.

In contrast, depending on your situation, your child support could end before your child reaches the age of 18. Reasons to end child support include:

  • Your child is legally emancipated.
  • Enter active duty military once emancipated.
  • Gets married after emancipation.

Modifying Your Child Support Order

At Sullivan Law & Associates, we can help you request changes to your support order. We understand that circumstances change for families and we’re here to do the heavy lifting for you.

Contact us today at (949) 565-2793 to schedule a consultation about modifying your custody agreement.