When parents split up, they have to figure out who will take care of the kids, and when. While both parents generally share the right to split child custody, it’s much more common for kids to spend the bulk of their time with one parent. The responsibility to take care of the kids you have doesn’t go away just because you’re the non-custodial parent. When it comes to money, the responsibility to provide can be even greater.
That’s where child support comes in. Child support is a legal requirement for one parent to pay money for the benefit of their child(ren). Generally speaking, the less time a parent spends with their kid(s), the more in child support they’ll have to pay. Child support calculation are, however, based in large part on what a parent can afford to pay.
Child support can be a tricky subject. Even if parents love and care for their kids, they might be suspicious about how child support funds are being spent – especially if there’s a lot of tension between the parents. When you need to tackle an issue like child support, it can really help to bring in outside assistance. Hiring a San Diego family law attorney with experience navigating complex child support cases can make a huge difference.
Do you need help securing extra child support from your ex-spouse? Do you think you’re being asked to pay too much in support? Do you want to make sure support payments are negotiated in a way that’s fair and also makes sure your kids are taken care of? Contact the San Diego child support lawyers at the Sachdev Legal Group, APC for help. With decades of combined experience, we’re here to help you fight for what’s best for you and your family.
We offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to call our law firm to schedule yours today.
In California, both parents are equally responsible for taking care of their childrens’ financial needs. This can be simple when parents are married or involved in a committed relationship. Things can get more complicated when those parents separate or divorce. When that happens, it can be tough to make sure that both parents fulfill their legal duty to their kids.
That’s what child support is. Child support refers to an amount of money that one or both parents are required to pay to support their child(ren). It’s enforced as a legally-binding court order. The order has to be initiated by a parent.
This might happen as a result of a:
A court reviews the petition for child support and, if it’s deemed necessary, it will order one (or both) parents to begin paying money to support their children’s needs and expenses.
It’s important to note that parents have the ability to determine how much they’ll pay in child support. During a divorce, you can sit down with your spouse and talk about how much you think the kids will need, which of you will pay, and how much. This can be binding as long as both of you agree.
Things get more complicated when parents are at odds. When that happens, a San Diego County family law judge will step in and determine what’s appropriate. This isn’t something that’s left entirely to the judge’s discretion. California has specific guidelines for calculating child support obligations.
California’s child support formula, known as the Statewide Uniform Guideline, is as follows:
CS = K[HN – (H%)(TN)].
Simply put, the formula looks at each parent’s ability to pay child support and compares it to the amount of time each parent spends with their kids.
So, let’s say that Ava and Steve, who have one child together, get divorced. Ava gets primary custody of their daughter. Steve’s custody timeshare is 20 percent. Ava asks the court to award child support. Steve’s net monthly disposable income is $4,000. Together, Steve and Ava’s net monthly disposable income is $6,000. Since their net income is between $801 and $6,666, K = .25.
Here’s what this would look like using the formula: CS = .25*[4,000-(.2*6,000)] So, CS = $700. Steve would be required to pay $700 each month to satisfy his child support obligation.
California’s child support formula involves the consideration of several factors, including:
Courts can realistically consider any factors that might be relevant to a child’s need and a parent’s ability to pay.
Yes. There are two types of child support orders – temporary and permanent. If, during the course of a divorce, you realize that you need child support now, you can ask the court for a temporary award. To do this, you’ll submit a formal request to the judge overseeing your case. The child’s other parent will have the right to have a hearing and dispute your request.
The court doesn’t necessarily have to know what a parent earns to issue a temporary child support order. A judge can simply require the parent to pay the minimum amount required in the California Work Opportunity and Responsible Kids Act. At the current date, a parent would have to pay at least $341 to support one child pursuant to this welfare law. Minimum support obligations increase with the number of children affected.
A temporary award will remain in place until (a) a permanent child support order is issued as part of a divorce decree or (b) parents decide to get back together.
The term “permanent child support order” is kind of a misnomer. That’s because it can be changed or modified. Child support is calculated based on a snapshot of a parent’s custody arrangement and financial situation. Those things might change. If they do, a parent can ask to have a child support order modified to reflect their current situation.
For example, let’s say Alice receives $500 a month in child support from her ex-husband Sean. That money helps to pay for their son Sam’s clothes, books, and food. Alice learns that Sean got a substantial raise at work. As a result, his monthly net disposable income is much greater. Since he’s not spending more time with Sam, Alice wants Sean to pay more in child support. She can file a petition with the court asking them to increase Sean’s monthly child support obligation. Sean would have the right to a hearing to dispute that request.
Child support is an important tool. It helps to ensure that both parents are pulling their weight and taking care of their kids. However, it can be hard for parents to talk about money, especially in the middle of a tough divorce.
You don’t have to figure out child support on your own. Contact the experienced San Diego child support attorneys at the Sachdev Legal Group for help navigating all of your family law issues. We understand what’s at stake. That’s why we’ll be by your side every step of the way. We’ll do everything we can to help you achieve the results you want.
Call our San Diego law office to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment today.