Facts of Life

When parents separate and one of them has custody of the child, the non-custodial parent has to pay child support.

The amount is based on the non-custodial parent's net income — total income minus federal income tax, Social Security (6.2%), and Medicare (1.45%), state income tax, union dues and expenses for health care coverage for the child.

According to federal guidelines, the amount of child support owed is as follows:

1 child = 20% of net income
2 children = 25%
3 children = 30%
4 children = 35%
5 children or more = 40%*

*These amounts are for multiple children with the same two biological parents. Guidelines are slightly different for multiple children with different mothers.

The guidelines will tell you the amount of child support owed monthly. This is how much you'd have to pay if you had a child and didn't live with the child. Or it is the amount you would receive in child support if you were the custodial parent.

Do the math by visiting on the California Guideline Support Calculator