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Child Support

Child Support

Sometimes, divorce doesn’t simply divide a couple, but a family, complicating life for their children. The dissolution of your once-combined care for your child can generate feelings of insecurity. After a divorce, you need to ensure your child is receiving sufficient support without taking the entirety of the burden on yourself. While some parents can agree on an appropriate amount of child support without taking their case to court, this is not true for everyone. A family law attorney can assist you with child support, making sure each parent fairly contributes to the child’s wellbeing. 

What is Child Support?

Child support is a monthly payment that goes towards the cost of taking care of the child. It regulates the child’s expenses and caretaking so that they are distributed equally between the parents. Contributions are made as payments towards daycare, health care, and other necessary expenses that benefit the child. The payments usually continue until the child turns 18 years old. There are several factors that complicate the amount of support you must provide. 

Not one single arrangement will work for every family. Typically, one parent acts as the main caregiver and receives child support from the other party, although exceptions exist where income discrepancies and other factors alter this typical arrangement. In the typical scenario, payments act as compensation from the non-custodial parent, who does not provide as much physical caretaking of the child. The aim of most child support orders is for the child to be adequately and comparably provided for in both homes. 

How Child Support Works in California

Under California law, the cost of child support payments is determined using an income shares model. Variables in the income shares model include each partner’s income before taxes and how many children they have. The court uses the monthly cost of raising a single child as a frame of reference, resulting in a percentage of the monthly payment the non-custodial parent will pay. The calculation involves other financial factors such as:

  • Workers’ compensation, or disabilities that impact the party’s ability to work
  • Employment benefits, such as bonuses or promotions
  • Custodial parent’s income and tax deductions
  • Various costs to take care of the child, ones that may be considered necessary, reasonable or special spending. 

There may be additional variables specific to your circumstances. The direction of payment often depends on who becomes the primary guardian. The other parent who has less custody will usually make higher payments. These payments can later be modified to accommodate changes in the custodial parent’s finances. 

There are also special arrangements that require nontraditional support. For instance, a family with multiple children may arrange it so that each parent takes care of a certain child. This, in turn, complicates the child support payments. In situations like this, a family law attorney can help you determine how much your payments will be.   

Talk to a Family Law Attorney Today

It’s important to consider how not all divorces are the same, and your child support needs will vary depending on your unique circumstances. It’s best to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney. No matter where you stand in your predicament, a family law attorney can fight for your rights. We aim to ensure that our clients are put into a fair situation and both parents are contributing to their child’s well being. Contact our firm today. 

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