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Can a child support agreement deviate from state guidelines?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2019 | Divorce |

In California, when a couple gets a divorce and there are children from the marriage, child support will be a common issue in dispute. Still, there are circumstances where the parents are able to come to an agreement on how much will be paid. Since there are basic state guidelines for child support, the agreement is generally expected to fall within the guidelines. However, some people want to deviate from the guidelines.

To do this, there is a relatively narrow list of reasons why it will be allowed by the court. Parents can avoid the guidelines in the following circumstances: they are completely aware of their rights to child support; they understand the guidelines used to determine child support; they have not been pressured or been forced to agree to the amount deviating from the guidelines; they do not get public assistance; they have not filed an application for public assistance; they agree to an amount that will provide for the child’s needs; they believe that the amount is in the child’s best interests; and the judge approves the amount.

If the parties sign a stipulation that adheres to the guidelines, there will be no need to go before a judge for the child support to be determined. If the guidelines are adhered to and one of the parents receives public assistance, there must be a signed agreement between the parents and the child support agency must agree to the amount.

The objective of child support is to provide the best possible care for children. Since divorce can be difficult enough, it is imperative for the children to have their needs met. For parents who have questions regarding child support, it is wise to have legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney.


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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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