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.”