When co-parents are sharing custody and parenting time will there be any child support between the parties in a San Diego divorce? The answer to this question is actually legally and financially quite complex.
Child support is the responsibility of any parent here in California. Each parent is separately liable for the provision of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and other necessities of raising a child. The Court’s primary concern is the best interest of the child and whether they will be placed in a position to have all they need to be healthy, educated and protected.
If the co-parents are genuinely sharing custody and parenting time will there be any child support needed? This depends upon the ability of each co-parent and the relatively equivalence of their incomes. If the incomes of the parties are roughly equal there will often be no need for child support. A child custody and parenting plan which shares time with the child(ren) on an equal basis often balances out the financial equation. Another consideration is the lifestyle the child enjoyed during the course of the marriage.
One of the parties may be a high wage earner or have substantial separate assets of their own. However, there is a limit on what the Court will attribute to the cost of providing for a child. If the income of each parent provides enough to fully care for and meet the needs of each child the Court may agree not to order child support, even if there is a substantial difference between the parties.
The Court will first consider the results of California’s guideline child support calculator. This is the starting place for all discussions. The Court will next review the parenting plan as well as the division of physical and legal child custody before issuing child support orders (if any).
The parties may reach an agreement on their own either through negotiation or mediation. When they present this agreement to the Court they must still provide the result of the guideline calculator for the Judge to review.
The question of if the co-parents are sharing custody and parenting time will there be any child support is unique to each case. Learn more about your specific circumstances and get answers to all your questions regarding divorce.