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Child Support – Who Pays and Why?

In a previous post we discussed the urban myth of Spousal Support (Alimony) and busted the myth that the husband always pays. This post will give a basic breakdown of Child Support and bust the urban myth that the guy always pays.

The urban myth that the guy always pays child support, like spousal support, can more than likely be traced back to the same origins of spousal support. A day when men were the breadwinners and women were stay-at-home mothers. If the father was always away working, then that meant mom was at home spending a lot more time with the children.

Although there are many things that can affect child support, the basic premise of child support boils down to just two main items: time with the child and income.

What does this mean?

It means that if the custody split is “50/50” and the income(s) of both parties is similar, then neither parent will be on the hook for child support.

However, if one parent holds a majority of custody time, he or she could potentially be entitled to child support.

With the custody percentage in mind, the Court next looks at the income of the parties. If the incomes are similar, by default, the parent with more custody time will be entitled to child support. If there is a difference in incomes, the court will generate a figure based on the “guideline” which is dictated and computed under the California Family Code 4050 - 4076.

It should be noted that the parent with the majority amount of custody can still end up paying the other parent child support if they make more money. Although it sounds contrary to what was just described, the spirit of the law essentially wants the child to have the same standard of living no matter which parent the child is with.

Does the father always pay?

Absolutely not, it goes back to the two basic elements described above and the father has just as much right to child support as the mother.

Historically fathers have spent less time with the children and unfortunately that tradition still carries on today in a lot of cases that come into our office for assorted reasons. In many cases, the father simply works more to support their child, which in turn creates less availability to spend time with their child.

In other cases, the father is simply ignorant to the law and doesn’t realize their parental rights and abides by whatever parenting schedule the mother sees fit. These situations deprive the father of precious parenting time while at the same time hikes up the child support he has to pay. Generally most support hearings include a custody hearing as the two go hand in hand, however, child custody will be discussed in a separate post.

What do I do if a Child Support motion is filed against me?

Consult a knowledgeable Family Law Attorney. A knowledgeable family law attorney will review your case with you and go over all the particular things they may affect the outcome of who pays and how much. Although the discussion above covered the basic premise of child support, everybody’s situation is different and depending upon a person’s particular situation, a lot of additional little factors can ultimately dictate the outcome of your case outside of custody time and income.

If you or a loved one is facing a Child Support situation, call Barrell & Janke Law at (916) 514-5224 for a FREE consultation.

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