In the most basic sense, child support payments fulfill the purpose of ensuring both parents provide equally for their children after divorce. Generally, parents who spend more time with their children pay less than parents who spend minimal time with them. The State of California relies upon child support guidelines to calculate an appropriate payment that the non-custodial parent must fulfill. This calculation is complex and based on a variety of factors. If you think you might need to pay child support, schedule a consultation with a Riverside child support lawyer for an accurate assessment.
How Does Child Support Work?
In most cases, the parent without child custody is responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent. Child support is the non-custodial parent’s “share” of expenses related to the child’s upbringing. However, in some joint custody arrangements, child support may be ordered when the parents’ incomes differ greatly or the child spends the majority of the time with only one parent.
Child support payments usually last until the child turns 18 or until he or she has completed high school. Children with special needs may require child support for a longer period. The courts typically require noncustodial parents’ health insurance to cover their children.
What Income Do Courts Consider When Determining Child Support in Riverside?
The State of California set guidelines to help judges determine how much child support noncustodial parents should pay to provide for their children’s upbringing. First, they calculate your entire income including:
- Government Benefits
- Other income
They consider any income, regardless of whether it is taxed. The parent may subtract other financial obligations from this sum, such as:
- Health insurance premiums
- Costs of raising other children
After child support payments are set, they may be modified to reflect changes in child custodyarrangements, either parent’s financial situation, or changes in the child’s needs.
What Does Child Support Cover in California?
Child support is supposed to only cover the basic necessities. However, other expenses could be required, if included in the child support settlement agreement. These could include education, medical costs, and extracurricular expenses, like sports or after school activities.
What Isn’t Covered By Child Support?
- Non-health related medical expenses, like cosmetics (although braces have been considered child support before)
- Luxury and unnecessary items or services
Remember, this is up to the judge’s discretion. Some judges may rule that child support is needed in certain circumstances.
Why Should I Speak with a Riverside Child Support Attorney?
Calculating a fair child support payment is a complex task that requires the expertise of a child support lawyer who makes such calculations for a living. It’s important to ensure that your children receive the financial support they need based on the most accurate information about your income. Your financial obligations must be correctly and completely represented in court or you may face legal and financial consequences.
A lawyer can also help parents modify child support arrangements when circumstances change, such as when a parent takes on a new job that provides a larger or smaller salary. Many situations may arise before your children turn 18 that can provoke a need to adjust child support payments. Additionally, child support lawyers in Riverside can enforce court orders for child support against parents who have not made the required payments.
When you work with one of the dedicated family lawyers at Bratton, Razo, & Lord, you’ll be represented by a quality attorney who has years of experience representing parents who must make child support payments. Whether you need a modification, have fallen behind in child support payments, or just want to know realistically what you might have to pay, you deserve honest and thorough information and guidance.
Call (951) 684-9000 for a free child support consultation or contact us online. We’ll be happy to discuss any issue regarding child support in Riverside.