Even amicable divorces can be complex and difficult as both parties unravel the different parts of their lives that have become intertwined over time. When a Couple with Children Divorces in California, They Have the Opportunity to Work Out the Details custody and support for the children themselves.
However, this can be a very controversial issue and often leads judges to determine how much time the child or children in question spend with each parent. Likewise, the amount of child support that one parent will pay to another even if they share equal custody.
How is child support determined in California?
Federal law requires each state to establish guidelines for calculating and awarding child support. These rules can vary widely from state to state, but are uniform within each. Only in very limited situations in California can the judge order child support to differ from state guidelines. which are reviewed and updated every four years by a committee.
In the case of the Golden State several factors are taken into account, beyond the time during which each parent has a child or children in their charge and who has primary custody of them. Each parent’s gross and net income and monthly expenses will also be considered, among other things. A significant difference between each parent’s income may mean the judge increases or decreases the amount of child support who needs to be paid can be part of the equation.
Parents may also have to share child care costs so that the parent can work or learn job skills, as well as the educational needs of the child. Reasonable health care costs for individuals could be included or expenses for special needs. Even travel costs for visits between each parent’s residence.
Why a Parent May Have to Pay Child Support When Custody is Shared 50/50
In cases where parents share physical custody, both parents have a legal obligation to support the child financially. In order for a child’s standard of living to be maintained as if the divorce had never taken place, a judge can order the parent who earns the most to pay child support even if custody is shared 50/50.
In addition, this separation of financial obligations could see the parent with the higher income receive child support. If he is the custodial parent and therefore has more day-to-day responsibility for caring for the child, the low-income non-custodial parent may have to provide financial support. It is assumed that the primary custodial parent is already spending more of their income providing food, clothing and accommodation, in addition to incurring other expenses.
The State of California provides a tool to calculate how much one may have to pay in child support using established guidelines. To help those who would like to use it, a user’s guide can be consulted.