California Child Support Laws in 2024

This year big changes have been made to California’s child support laws in 2024, aiming to create a fairer, more inclusive system. These updates are crucial for both custodial and non-custodial parents as they will reshape child support arrangements. Some of these changes have already gone into effect, but others are coming up as September 1, 2024. 

AB 1755 Important Changes

  1. Expedited Support Orders: From January 1, 2024, courts no longer issue expedited support orders under certain conditions.
  2. Child Support Guidelines Update: This one is probably the most important for most people, beginning September 1, 2024, new statewide guidelines for determining child support will take effect. This includes adjustments for low-income individuals and protocols for uninsured healthcare and childcare costs. Laurie Itkin, CDFA (The Options Lady) shared a great video on these changes and how monthly child support payments will increase, particularly for middle class and affluent families. 
  3. Add-ons. Add-ons — such as childcare and health care — may be allocated between the parties either “50-50” or “proportional to incomes.” The law changes the default from the former to the latter, so they will be presumed to be allocated proportionally to incomes. You can still set it to be either one.
  4. Low-income adjustment amount. The low-income adjustment threshold has changed to be the amount one would earn working a 40-hour week for minimum wage. At the time the rules were passed, the threshold would increase from around $2,100 to around $2,800 per month. The effect of this is that fewer obligors will have a low-income adjustment. The adjustment will be calculated using the new threshold.
  5. Low-income adjustment application. The new law provides that a low-income obligor is presumed to be entitled to the low-income adjustment. This presumption may be rebutted if it would be unjust and inappropriate in the particular case. Pursuant to instructions from the Judicial Council, the software was already incorporating this presumption, so this law change just codified existing practice.
  6. Deviation. A new deviation applies. If a low-income adjustment applies, then, there may be a deviation to the extent that the child support amount exceeds 50% of the obligor’s net disposable income. The software calculates the deviation amount in the Deviations section, if it applies, but this occurrence will be very rare.
  7.  Income sources. The law expands the listed sources of income that should be counted as a parent’s annual gross income, to include severance pay, veterans benefits that are not based on need, and military allowances for housing and food. We have added lines for the latter two of these items in one of the income sections on the data entry screen. Please include severance pay with wage income.
  8. Simplified Judicial Processes: The Judicial Council will develop simplified forms and guidelines for support actions and income determination, some of which will be effective from September 1, 2024, and others January 1, 2026.

The goal of AB 1755 is to ensure fairness in child support obligations, especially for low-income individuals, and to streamline local child support agencies’ operations, however it may increase child support for middle-class and affluent families

Related Article: California Child Support Laws: 3 Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the Changes with West Coast Family Mediation

At West Coast Family Mediation, we guide families through these complex legal changes. Whether you’re married, divorced, or dealing with minor children, child support belongs to the child(ren) and can’t be waived by either parent at any time. In mediation, however you and your co-parent can decide together whether the child support guidelines are accurate for your family and make agreements that are going to be best for you and your children. It’s important to make sure that your mediator knows these changes are coming and uses software that has implemented these changes when they occur. If you have questions on child support or want to schedule a time to modify your child support once these changes are in affect, contact us


by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *