Determining Child Support Costs in California
Orange County Divorce Lawyer
In California, child support is based on a number of factors in a particular family situation. Two of the most important factors are the income levels of each parent, and whether the child spends more time with one parent than the other. For example, a parent who spends little or no time with their child may be ordered to pay additional child support because the other parent is spending more time financially and emotionally supporting the child. For parents who are interested in getting an idea of the cost, the California State Child Support Guidelines has a specific formula that calculates the exact amount of child support a parent may have to pay.
There are many other factors that affect the cost of child support, such as:
- The number of children involved
- Whether parents have equal custody
- Support payments from prior relationships
No two family situations may be exactly the same. Your situation is unique, and any child support payments being made may reflect that. However, you should ensure that the payments are beneficial for the family and do not leave one or both parents struggling with financial burdens. Parents facing difficult situations may not be able to effectively provide for their children and offer them a healthy living environment. If you or your spouse is making child support payments, ensure that they are adequately meeting the demands of your family situation.
Making Modifications to Child Support Payments
It is common for the living situations of one or both parents to undergo a significant change. These changes can affect many aspects of a divorce: custody and visitation arrangements, division of parental responsibilities, and child support payments. When circumstances make it necessary to change the child support order in a divorce agreement, you may submit a request for modification to the court. Parents often request modifications because of the following:
- Change in income for one or both parents
- A parent becomes incarcerated
- Change in the amount of time a child spends with each parent
- The child's needs have changed
- Change in factors used to determine child support
Gather Information & Assess the Situation
For one reason or another, some parents may not be in frequent communication with each other. One parent may be suffering hardships, but he or she may not be able or want to share this information with the other parent. However, parents still want to look after the best interests of their children. Before deciding to petition the court for a modification of your child support order, there are a few steps you may take to get important information about your situation.
If you believe that your circumstances may be changing significantly, recalculate your child support payment to get a better idea of what the new arrangements may look like. If you are seeking information about changes in the other parent's circumstances, you may have another person serve a Form FL-396 and Form FL-150 to the other parent in order to gain information about the parent's current income and financial situation.
Consult with a Skilled Family Law Attorney in Orange County
Many parents wait to request a modification to child support payments because they believe the changes to their circumstances may be temporary. While you may not want to rush into filing a petition for modification in court, you should consult a legal professional about your situation in order to determine whether a child support payment modification is necessary, and what course of action may work effectively in your family's particular situation.
As an Orange County divorce attorney with more than 25 years of experience, I have helped many individuals struggling with difficult family law issues. If you are planning to take action in a modification of your child support order, consult a board-certified family law specialist who may help you get informed about your options and pursue a course of action that may lead to a positive resolution. Schedule a free consultation with Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC today!