CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE
COURT-ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT
PUBLIC POLICY AS TO SUPPORT OF CHILDREN
Family Code Section 4053
In implementing the statewide uniform guideline, the courts shall adhere
to the following principles:
(a) A parent's first and principal obligation is to support his or
her minor children according to the parent's circumstances and station in life.
(b) Both parents are mutually responsible for the support of their children.
(c) The guideline takes into account each parent's actual income and
level of responsibility for the children.
(d) Each parent should pay for the support of the children according to
his or her ability.
(e) The guideline seeks to place the interests of children as the state's
(f) Children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Child
support may therefore appropriately improve the standard of living of
the custodial household to improve the lives of the children.
(g) Child support orders in cases in which both parents have high levels
of responsibility for the children should reflect the increased costs
of raising the children in two homes and should minimize significant disparities
in the children's living standards in the two homes.
(h) The financial needs of the children should be met through private financial
resources as much as possible.
(i) It is presumed that a parent having primary physical responsibility
for the children contributes a significant portion of available resources
for the support of the children.
(j) The guideline seeks to encourage fair and efficient settlements of
conflicts between parents and seeks to minimize the need for litigation.
(k) The guideline is intended to be presumptively correct in all cases,
and only under special circumstances should child support orders fall
below the child support mandated by the guideline formula.
(l) Child support orders must ensure that children actually receive fair,
timely, and sufficient support reflecting the state's high standard
of living and high costs of raising children compared to other states.