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Tustin California Family Law Blog

How is child support calculated in California?

Having a child means many things to parents in California and elsewhere. For the most part, it means taking on the role as a caregiver and providing the child with his or her emotional, physical and financial needs. This needs still need to be met whether parents are together or not. Thus, during the divorce process, parents often need to address issues such as child support.

How is child support calculated in California? Like other states, California has a statewide formula to calculate child support. This is known as a guideline, as it is used to figure out how much child support should be paid in a given situation. If parents attempt to reach a child support agreement and cannot, this is when a judge will step in to decide the child support amount based on the guidelines.

Things you don't want to do when talking to kids about divorce

If there were a full-proof secret to successful parenting, every parent in California and across the globe would likely want to buy into it. The reality is that not only is there no guarantee that you will navigate your parenting journey without problems arising, there's actually a greater chance that challenge and struggle may be par for the course. Every family has its ups and downs. Certain situations weigh more heavily on the downsides, such as divorce. 

If you are headed for divorce and are wondering what you can do to help your children fare as well as possible as they adapt to a new lifestyle, you can start by learning more about what types of things you should avoid. In short, what you don't do is just as important as the proactive steps you take to show your kids support during this disruptive time in their lives. Your community no doubt has many resources to help you over the rough spots as well. 

California child support agency recognized for performance

It often is not clear how expensive it is the raise a child until one has one. As a unit, parents are able to fulfill these needs, but when divorce occurs, this can put strain on this need. Because a child's financial needs must be met whether parents are together or not, divorcing parents might need to consider getting a child support order in place.

Because of their services and successes during 2017, the Yolo Count Department of Child Support Services in California receives a state's Director's Excellence Gold Award. This award recognizes the county's work in collecting a distributing child support for families within the county. This is just one of two agencies in the state of California that has received a gold award for their performance.

Parental relocation of custodial parents

Raising a child in California is no easy task. A lot goes into raising a child, and when a parent has sole custody of a child, he or she constantly makes decisions based on the best interests of their child. However, when this decision is to move to a different city or state, there are some considerations to make. While sole custody is established, visitation might exist for a non-custodial parent. Whether this occurs every other weekend, one day a week or one weekend a month, visitation rights might be interrupted by a move. Thus, when a parent seeks to relocate, he or she needs to revisit a child custody order.

Unless there is an agreement in place, a relocation dispute could arise when a non-custodial parent objects to the intended move because of the impact the move could have on his or her custody or visitation rights. If parent are unable to reach a resolution, it is left up to the courts to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Thus, it might result in a judge ordering the requirement of the custodial parent remaining in the state.

Helping resolve child support issues

We cannot control the way time impacts relationships. For married couples in California, time could mean distance and a union that is no longer built with love. Spouses can grow apart, meaning they have to make some challenging decisions. These choices can be major, as they could impact a family versus just two spouses. When parents divorce, no matter the reason, the needs of the children must take center stage. This is especially true when it comes to their wellbeing and upbringing.

Ensuring that the financial needs of the children are met is crucial in the divorce process. Child support is often necessary to guarantee that both parents are able to maintain the finances needed to raise his or her child. Because one parent might be the breadwinner while the other the primary caregiver, there can be major gaps in income.

Appealing or modifying a final divorce decree

For couples in California that have gone through a divorce, they will likely agree that the process was anything but easy. These individuals will also contend that they would not want to go through that process again, even if it was uncontested and quick to reach a divorce decree. Unfortunately, some divorce spouses must revisit their divorce decisions, as it might become necessary to appeal or modify the order.

The divorce process has come to a close, and a settlement agreement is reached and filed with the court. Either spouse has the opportunity to challenge certain decisions made by the court, or even seek changes to specific rights and obligations that are set out in the final divorce decree.

Should Face Time or Skype be written into your parenting plan?

When you decided to divorce, you weren't too thrilled when your soon-to-be former spouse told you about plans involving moving your children to a new location outside California or one that is still in this state but a great distance from where you'll be living. As a good father, you understand the importance of maintaining an active, close relationship with your kids as you all adapt to your new lifestyles and move forward beyond divorce.

Many parents in similar situations rely on video technology to supplement their visitation arrangements, especially those who can't travel across many miles as often as they'd like to spend in-person time with their children. Nowadays, you can work virtual visitation instructions right into your court-approved parenting plan. The key is to make sure you protect your rights and the best interests of your kids as you make the best of your situation even if it's not what you'd prefer.

Why would a parent seek child support modification?

There are some divorce decisions that are not easily made, no matter how necessary. When parents in California divorce, they must ensure that the needs of the child are met during this process. This means that the child's physical, emotional and financial wellbeing are addressed. When assessing financial needs, the costs associated with raising a child must be considered and how much each parent can contribute. In some cases, one parent might seek child support to ensure that they can cover the costs necessary to care for his or her child.

Even when a fair and workable child support agreement is reached, this does not mean it will remain in effect the entire post-divorce timeframe. In fact, many divorced parents must revisit these orders. As a child ages, his or her needs alter. In addition, the circumstances of each parent can change. One might remarry, relocate or even lose a job. This can alter the ability to pay child support or cause the need to increase these payments.

Problems with child support? There is an app for that

Dealing with divorce issues is never easy. However, dealing with post-divorce issue can often be complex and rather emotional. Thus, divorcing and divorced parents should understand that they may need to revisit divorce issues relating to their children. This is especially true when one parent seeks modification or enforcement of specific orders, such as custody or support.

When parents fall behind on child support, this can significantly impact the child as well as the custodial parent. For years, ways to make this process easier have been researched and investigated. Because we are a society that often relies on technology to get through our days, why not design technology to aid with child support issues?

Is shared parenting best following divorce?

A parent's love for their child is often unexplainable. Nothing can change this, not even an event such as divorce. But what divorce can do is alter the time spent with a child. Although the quantity of time is impacted, this does not impact the quality of their relationship. It is necessary in these situations to reach a custody agreement that works for everyone involved. While it may not look like the parenting plan that you had hoped, if it fulfills the best interests of the child standard, it is likely the proper order at this time.

While parents will continue to have reasons to fight for sole custody, divorcing parents also have reasons to fight for shared parenting. This custody arrangement has been growing in trend, and for a good reason. There are two factors that ensure a healthy and happy future for a child after the divorce process, and this is having both their mother and father in their life.


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