What is the new child support law in California in 2023?

Laws change and develop over time to stay up to date. This is important because laws that made sense 100 years ago don’t always make sense today. As circumstances change, laws should change, too. New child support laws in California have been enacted in 2023 in order to ensure they are current and can cater to children’s needs as effectively as possible.

When a couple has children and goes through a divorce, figuring out the right circumstances for the child can be very complicated. These situations are frequently very emotional, and when they involve money, they can get ugly quickly. Child support is meant to help support the interests of the child.

What Are the Guidelines for California Child Support?

  • If you’re a parent, your main obligation is to your child.
  • Child support is based on the incomes of both parents and how much time each parent spends with the child.
  • The child benefits from the incomes of both of the parents, not just the parent they spend more time with.
  • Child support is primarily to be spent to support the child, but it can also be used to better the living situation of the household where the child spends the majority of their time.
  • Child support amounts reflect how expensive it can be to live in California.
  • It is assumed that the parent who has the child the majority of the time is spending a large portion of their income to support the child.
  • Guidelines for child support are in place to help the parties reach a reasonable agreement.

Can Child Support Be Challenged?

The above guidelines are there to help the parties come to an agreement, but they’re not law. These guidelines don’t have to be followed to the letter, and they don’t typically include all the different expenses that come up when raising a child.

The tech industries are continuing to see layoffs, and that can have a major impact on how a parent can provide for their child, especially in a state where the cost of living is quite high. While formulas are often applied to arrive at a number, it’s more important to do what’s right for the child in every case.

New Child Support Law

In 2023, new rules regarding child support were enacted. The goal of this was to not only streamline the process of making adjustments to child support but also to underline how vital it is that both parents contribute to the needs of the child financially while factoring in important elements such as time spent with the child, income, and more.

Before, the earning capacity of the parents was the main factor considered, but the new law says that the specific circumstances of the parents are to be considered. This includes the parent’s residence, assets, earning history and employment, level of education, job skills, age, health, literacy, criminal record, or any other factors that may be a barrier to employment. Again, this is in recognition of the rapid changes in the tech industry.

Additionally, rules regarding incarcerated parents have changed. Where previously, those incarcerated for more than 90 days had payment suspensions, now that suspension begins on the first day of the first month of incarceration. Also, previously, the suspension was waived for a parent incarcerated for domestic violence; however, this is no longer the case.


Q: How Much Should a Father Pay for Child Support in California?

A: It’s important to point out that California doesn’t have different rules for child support between mothers and fathers. Decisions regarding the payment are made based on the parents’ circumstances and not their gender. Factors such as earning potential, employment, education, residence, and how much time the child spends with each parent are the determining factors for how much child support gets paid.

Q: What’s the Max Child Support in California?

A: California puts no cap on how much child support a parent may be required to provide. The state uses a formula to determine how much child support a parent will pay, and this is based on the parents’ incomes, the child’s needs, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Child support payments vary greatly because each child support judgment is made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: How Much Is Child Support in California 50/50 Custody?

A: Generally speaking, child support payments in 50/50 custody cases are made to the amount of 15% of the variance between both parties’ incomes. There are additional factors to this as well, such as if the parties share more than one child. A parent may not be required to pay child support if both parents earn approximately the same income, but that’s not always the case.

Q: How Does CA Calculate Child Support?

A: As of 2023, the law regarding child support calculation has been changed. However, generally speaking, factors such as the parents’ incomes, residence, earning potential, literacy, education level, and how much time the child spends with each parent are factored into child support payments. A calculator is frequently used, but that is just a starting point, as many other factors are being considered since the change in 2023.

With the changes to child support law, things aren’t quite as straightforward as they used to seem. That’s why it’s important to have a practiced attorney on your side to make sure that your child is protected and getting what’s right for them. A lawyer who’s practiced in family law will know just how to support you.

Count on Patricia A. Rigdon

Patricia A. Rigdon has over 20 years of experience practicing law. When she started her firm in 2012, her goal was to work with clients and help them work collaboratively through some of the most difficult times in their lives. It’s important to her that she solves issues out of court as much as she can, alleviating as much pain and as many bad feelings as possible.

If it’s time for you to consider issues of family law, such as divorce, custody, or child support, you can trust that Patricia A. Rigdon can strive to provide you with a solution during a difficult time. Contact the Law Offices of Patricia A. Rigdon today.