Divorce is understandably a complicated emotional process in California, particularly when it involves young children. Families differ in how they handle child custody. However, courts usually require the noncustodial parent to make child support payments to the other parent so that the custodial parent does not have to financially support the children on his or her own. Here are a couple of important things to remember about child support.
First, child support can always be modified. Calculations for child support are usually based on both parents' incomes, the quantity of children being supported and how much time both parents spend with their children. Courts might also take into consideration spousal support and who covers costs such as school expenses, health insurance and child care. No matter which formula is used, the decision of the court can be changed as the parents' financial or health circumstances change.
Second, the spouse who collects spousal support usually also ends up collecting child support. Still, if a court decides that a parent's child support payment amount should be reduced, the spousal support amount will usually also be trimmed. This is a major reason why an agreed-upon support arrangement cannot be unilaterally modified by one parent.
When dealing with child support, one party's concern may naturally be having to pay too much in support. Meanwhile, the other parent may worry about not receiving enough support. In either situation, an attorney can help the client to pursue the fairest and most personally favorable outcome considering the circumstances surrounding the divorce in California.