San Diego Child Support Attorney

When two people who are married decide to end that marriage, it’s a difficult situation. It’s only more difficult when children are involved, as a resolution must be reached regarding custody of the children, visitation for the non-custodial parent and of course the amount of child support that must be paid every month to the custodial parent.

Even though the decision regarding the amount of child support is generally calculated with an algebraic equation, there are several factors involved with coming to a final figure. Of course, part of that equation will involve the percentage of time the non-custodial parent will be spending with the children, so custody needs to be decided before any determination of child support can be made. Below is an overview of the issues of child support and child custody, and if you are struggling with these issues, contact the Law Offices of James D. Scott today to schedule an initial consultation.

San Diego Child Support Overview

The amount of child support that must be paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent is an equation that basically deducts a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income based on the number of children that resulted from the marriage. For instance, if there are two children of the marriage, the amount of child support would be higher than if there is only one child.

However, there are factors involved with this equation that must also be clarified, and these factors include:

  • Income of both parents
  • Percentage of time dedicated to visitation
  • Monthly expenses including health care for the children
  • Tax consequences
  • General living expenses

Of course, other factors could be relevant depending on the specifics of any situation, but if the judge must decide on a child support amount, he or she will look at the overall financial picture of the parties and use the statutory guidelines as much as possible in coming to a decision. Of course, the court does not need to make this decision – the parents can negotiate a monthly amount and present it to the court, and if it appears to be equitable the court will likely approve the amount.

San Diego Child Custody Overview

In a California divorce, there are two types of custody to be decided: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody is defined by which parent is making the primary decisions regarding the child’s health and welfare. Physical custody is where and with whom the children reside.

California statues promote that children have equal relations with both parents. Even is one parent has primary custody (as defined by the child staying with that parent over 50% of the time) the judge will allow the non-custodial parent to have adequate visitation. California’s laws tend to prefer joint physical custody, so that the children have equal time with each parent. Sole physical custody is usually only ordered in the most specific of circumstances.

There are many benefits to negotiating a parenting arrangement. The reason is that that you know what is best for your child and your individual schedules. Because of this, most judges usually prefer that the parents decide on their own parenting agreement and will not interfere unless there are problems between the parties. In cases where the parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the court will order custody and a visitation and holiday schedule.

If for any reason, after a divorce, there needs to be a change to custody, the parent can petition the court for a change, but the change will only be ordered if it is in the “best interest of the children.”

San Diego Child Support Modification Attorney

When spouses end a marriage and there are children that were born during that marriage, one of the most fundamental components that needs to be addressed before that union can be legally dissolved is that of child support. Child support is basically an order that requires the payment of a certain amount from the parent who does not have primary custody of the children to the parent who does every month until the children are adults. However, there are situations where a monthly child support obligation can be adjusted, but such an adjustment should only be sought with the help of a San Diego child support lawyer. Below is a brief introduction to this issue.

The Legal Standard for Adjusting Child Support Orders

When a child support order in California is made, it is the result of the court taking into account the overall situations of the parents at the time. Clearly, circumstances can change in the lives of anyone, and that’s exactly the standard that must be met in order for a child support order to be modified – the moving party must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that necessitates a change in the child support order.

This substantial change in circumstances does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent’s financial situation has taken a turn for the worse. If the non-custodial parent’s situation has improved greatly, the custodial parent may seek a new order for additional support. Basically, the court will look at the issue from a standpoint of fairness to everyone involved, most of all the children who are being supported.

Financial circumstances are also not the only ones that could change to the point where an adjusted child support order would be appropriate. If the amount of time each parent spends with the children changes substantially, it may be appropriate to account for that extra time from the standpoint of the non-custodial parent. One other example of when child support orders may change occurs when one parent moves away from a location that allows for a smooth transfer of temporary custody for the purposes of visitation.

How to Proceed

If you are facing issues that involve child support and/or child custody, you likely have rights that are spelled out in the California statutes. Rather than attempt to analyze these issues yourself and present them to the court, however, you need an experienced San Diego child support and child custody lawyer to help you through this process. Contact the Law Offices of James D. Scott today to schedule an initial consultation.
Get Help Now