Parents in California are required to provide for their children. The main things they need to provide are food, clothing and shelter. These can be costly enough, but as parents know there are many other costs associated with children as well. This obligation does not end when parents divorce or separate. The biggest difference is that how the parents pay for the needs will change. Generally one parent will pay child support to the other parent.
Usually the parent receiving child support will have the children the majority of the time. There is a basic child support obligation based on the parents' income. This includes who pays the health insurance premiums, how much parenting time each parent has and some other factors. The basic child support obligation is designed to meet the basic needs of the children but, as stated above, there are many expenses in addition to a child's basic needs.
So, a child support order could include payments for these additional costs. These costs include child care costs so the parents can work or go to school, health care expenses beyond the premiums such as deductibles and co-pays, educational needs, travel expenses for transporting the children between parents and other costs that may arise. The child support order could also designate how the parents will split these costs between each other.
There are many parents in California who are no longer with the other parent of their children. Each parent will still need to provide for the financial costs of the children though and this is done through a child support order. This may seem like a fairly straight forward process of plugging numbers into a calculator, but it can be much more complicated than that. Experienced attorneys understand these complications and may be able to guide one through the process.
Source: California Courts, "Child Support," accessed on May 30, 2017