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What principles do courts follow regarding child support?

Some of the most difficult factors in a California divorce center around children. Child custody, visitation and child support can lead to major disputes. With child support, there are certain guidelines in place that the state uses to make decisions regarding how much support should be paid.

It is wise for parents to have a grasp of these guidelines. Legal assistance from the beginning is also beneficial.

When the state orders child support payments, the following considerations are key: that both parents provide monetary support to the child; that the order considers both parents' incomes; the amount of responsibility each parent bears regarding the care of the child; and that the child support order is in the best interests of the child.

The following is also critical: that the child has the same living standard as the parents; that the parent with primary custody contributes significantly to the care of the child; that settlements are fair to avoid the potential for litigation; and that the support is received in a timely manner, is sufficient and is fair based on the state's living costs.

While it can be relatively easy to find an estimate of how the state calculates child support payments, the guidelines can be more complex. For parents who are getting a divorce, child support must be addressed. To ease the process, contacting a law firm experienced in divorce might be useful. Family law attorneys can help with developing parenting plans, negotiating with the other parent and, if necessary, arguing in court.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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