Those who are considering a divorce in Carlsbad or anywhere in San Diego often ask us a question such as ‘will I have to pay child support and why is it needed?’
California family law clearly establishes the responsibility of every parent to provide food, clothing, shelter, and essentials such as health care for their child(ren). If a child has special needs the Court will do everything possible to ensure they are provided for as well.
The answer to the question of ‘will I have to pay child support and why’ will depend upon the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage, the financial status and earning capacity of each former spouse and the unique needs of your child(ren). The other primary factor associated with this question is the percentage of parenting time each co-parent will have going forward.
Generally speaking, if the income of each former spouse is relatively equal and co-parenting is to be equally shared between the parties there may not be a need for child support in your case.
When there is a difference between the earning potential of each co-parent, and/or parenting time is not equally divided between the parties child support orders will almost always be in order.
In each divorce or post-decree modification case child support discussions begin with the California Child Support Calculator. This guideline balances the financial conditions of each party, income and the amount of parenting time and provides an answer as to who is required to pay child support and the amount of the payment. The Court will always ask for the results of the guideline calculator.
From that point forward the parties may reach a different agreement either through negotiation or mediation. However, the Court will have the final say, even if the parties appear to be in complete agreement.
‘Will I have to pay child support and why is it needed?’ You may be required to pay child support if you earn more than your former spouse and/or are not sharing equal parenting time with your child(ren). It is the legal responsibility of every parent in California to provide for a child’s needs including food, clothing, shelter and health care.