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Child Support

The amount of child support a party is to pay or receive is one of those legal issues that can become very contentious. The party who has to pay child support generally believes he or she is paying too much and the party receiving the child support believes they are not receiving enough. When money is involved, emotions tend to run high. However, the court will seek to ensure that their child support orders are as fair as possible. Child support orders are able to be modified. Child Support Orders need to be followed and any monies not paid can subject the non paying party to additional fees, sanctions and admonishment from the court.

Family Code Section:
3900.  Subject to this division, the father and mother of a minor
child have an equal responsibility to support their child in the
manner suitable to the child's circumstances.

3901.  (a) The duty of support imposed by Section 3900 continues as to an unmarried child who has attained the age of 18 years, is a full-time high school student, and who is not self-supporting, until the time the child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 19 years, whichever occurs first.

-Child Support Calculation: (Parties income and % of Visitation with Children)

Child support issues become very contentious and routinely need to be decided by the court. Child support is generally calculated by a computer program (dissomaster or x spouse) that the court and attorneys alike use. The two most important factors used to determine the amount of child support are 1) The parties’ income and 2) the % of visitation the parties have with their children. These two factors among others, determine what the child support calculation will be. If the parties earned an equal amount and their respective % of visitation is equal, the amount of child support would be zero or close to it. If one party makes a lot more than the other party but has a low % of visitation, he or she will be required to pay a more significant amount of child support to the other party who does not make as much and has a higher % of visitation.

The guideline calculation depends on:
  • How much money the parents earn or can earn,
  • How much other income each parent receives,
  • How many children these parents have together,
  • How much time each parent spends with their children,
  • The actual tax filing status of each parent,
  • Support of children from other relationships,
  • Health insurance expenses,
  • Mandatory union dues,
  • Mandatory retirement contributions,
  • The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured health-care costs, and
  • Other factors. Child support can also include the cost of special needs like:
  • Traveling for visitation from 1 parent to another,
  • Educational expenses, and
  • Other special needs. When does court-ordered child support end? Court-ordered child support usually ends when the child:
  • marries or registers a domestic partnership,
  • dies,
  • is emancipated,
  • turns 18 and is not a full-time high school student, or
  • turns 19,
Parents may agree to support a child longer. The court may also order that both parents continue to support a disabled adult child that is not self-supporting.

ARCHER & ASSOCIATES aggressively ensures that our clients obtain a fair and equitable % of child visitation either by mutual agreement or by filing a Request for Order (RFO) placing the issue of visitation before the court.

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