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Do teen parents have to pay child support?

Pregnancy can be scary at any age, but when you get pregnant and are still a teenager, it compounds the worries. One of the biggest challenges of having a baby in California is figuring out how you will support it. Babies cost a lot of money. From formula to diapers and in the years to come, you may struggle to afford the things your child needs. However, you should not be doing it alone. The baby's father, even if he is a teenager, must pay child support unless you are married.

Assuming you are not married, your baby's father is just as responsible for caring for your child as you are. The California Department of Child Support Services explains that the court determines child support based on current earnings. If the baby's father is not working, that does not exclude him from the responsibility of paying child support.

In this instance, the court will figure the potential earnings, which is what the father could make if he was working. Typically, if the father is attending school, this means the court will figure his earnings as part-time.

Child support can be as much as 50 percent of the take-home pay. It is usually taken through a deduction directly from the paycheck, so you will receive it if the father is working. If he is not working, you may have to take other means to get your money. However, once the court issues an order, he is legally responsible for paying and could face penalties if he does not pay. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.

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