California state law upholds that a child is entitled to financial support from both of their parents in equal measure. As a result, child custody rights generally have a strong influence on child support determinations. Both of a child’s parents are expected to financially support the child but may do so in different ways. It’s very rare for a child custody agreement to grant completely equal custody rights to both of a child’s parents, and even rarer for both of those parents to earn the same amount of income. Therefore, the court must evaluate several criteria to determine the appropriate child support arrangement in any given support case. Some of these criteria include:
- The custody rights granted to each parent. When one parent has custody but the other does not, the parent with custody becomes the custodial parent while the other parent becomes the noncustodial parent, and the noncustodial parent will need to pay child support to the custodial parent.
- The respective incomes of each parent. Typically, the higher-earning parent will need to pay child support to the lower-earning parent, even if the higher-earning parent has greater custody rights. This is because both parents are expected to pay for their children’s living expenses equally.
- The needs of the child. The court must consider the parents’ custody rights, financial situations, and the unique needs of their children. For example, if a child has a disability or medical condition that requires ongoing treatment or therapy, they must account for this in the child support determination.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the factors that come into play when an Irvine, CA, family court judge must determine child support, and every support case is unique. If you are unsure how to approach your child support determination, guidance from an experienced Irvine family law attorney is invaluable.
Hiring legal counsel you can trust is the best way to approach any family law matter. Whether your child support determination is part of a larger divorce or child custody case or you are revisiting a previously established child support order, the right attorney will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your experience with the Irvine, CA, family court system.
The Dorie A. Rogers will carefully review all your records and documentation that are likely to come into play in your case. For example, suppose you are bracing for a larger divorce or custody case. In that case, we can provide the ongoing legal counsel you will need to approach the situation with confidence and make informed choices about the direction of your case. In addition, we’ll ensure your financial disclosure to the court is complete and accurate and that your child support order appropriately reflects the custody rights granted to you by the court.
Our team can also provide legal counsel when you need to modify an existing child support order. For example, you may need to petition for a reduced child support obligation if you recently lost your job or developed a disability, or you may need to petition to receive greater support if your financial situation or your children’s needs have changed. Whatever your unique situation entails, you can rely on the Dorie A. Rogers to provide individualized legal counsel for your child support determination. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out more about assisting with your child support case in Irvine, CA.