Child support can be an issue rife with emotions and disputes as a California couple moves forward with a divorce. There is a seemingly endless list of factors that are considered in the context of how much will be paid, and it is essential for both parties to understand how the state determines the amount. To ensure that there are basic principles to adhere to, there is a statewide uniform guideline. Before a case starts, it can be helpful to understand these principles to avoid surprises and to be fully prepared.
The parent’s main obligation is to provide support to the children. This is based on the situation and position in life. The responsibility to provide support is mutual for both parents. With the guideline, various factors, including income and how much responsibility the parents have will be considered. The parents should pay for the support of the child based on their ability to do so. The best interests of the children are prioritized in the guidelines.
The children should be part of the parents maintaining the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage. When there is a child support case where the parents each have a significant amount of responsibility, it will be assessed based on the increased costs of needing to have two separate homes and there should not be a disparity in the standard of living for each residence. Private financial resources should be the main source of the child’s financial support, if possible.
A parent who has physical custody will be presumed to contribute much of the resources for support. The guideline seeks to be fair to the parents and reduce the possibility of disputes and litigation. There is a presumption that the guidelines will be correct. There can be special circumstances that warrant flexibility. The support must be paid in a timely fashion and be fair and sufficient.
When getting a divorce, it is imperative to keep a focus on the needs of children. To ensure that the proper amount of child support is paid and the children adapt to the new circumstances as easily as possible, it can be beneficial to keep conflict to a minimum. If there are disputes, it is also key to make sure they do not grow acrimonious.