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What counts as income for child support purposes?

Like other states, California has a set formula that courts in the San Francisco area and throughout the state are supposed to use in order to set consistent child support orders across the state. While these child support guidelines might seem relatively straightforward, they can also be the cause of considerable controversy, particularly when it comes to determining what each parent's income is.

The way California law works, the higher a person's income is, the more child support he or she will be expected to provide. For California parents who work a job that provides a weekly paycheck, determining income might be a matter of just averaging several paychecks out over the course of several weeks and using that average as a parent's income.

However, it's important to remember that California considers a lot of different types of things income, even if the income is not received via a typical paycheck and even if it doesn't even get reported on the person's taxes. By way of example, income a parent receives from his or her own employment counts for child support purposes, and the dollar figure a court uses for child support purposes may be different from what is reported on the parent's tax returns, even if the parent reported his or her tax liabilities correctly.

Particularly when a parent does not get a regular paycheck, as in the case of someone who works their own business, it can be difficult to know how much the parent really makes. Because of this, there can be controversies which are perhaps best resolved with the help of an experienced California child support attorney.

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