Child support and sharing custody
If you share physical and legal custody of your children with the other parent in California, you might think that the financial responsibility of raising your children will be shared as well. While this is true for the most part, one parent could be ordered to pay child support.
When parents have joint custody, child support is often calculated by dividing the obligations of both parties in half. There is usually a formula that is used based on the income of both parents and the children’s needs so that each parent pays their fair share while still trying to keep the overall obligation as equal as possible. Sometimes, the parent who has a greater income could be ordered to pay a little more even after the obligations are equally divided.
The amount of time that each of you spends with your children can sometimes be a factor in exactly how much child support is ordered. The parent who spends less time with the children could be ordered to pay more for child support since the other parent would be responsible for providing more care, such as food, clothing, and housing. The number of overnight visits with each parent is sometimes used when child support is calculated where joint custody is concerned.
If there are any changes in one parent’s income or if one parent has the child more often than the other, then the child support order could be calculated again so that it’s fair for both parties. Proper communication between you and the other parent, as well as the court, can often make it easier to adjust the amount without the need for any type of mediation or detailed paperwork.
Child support orders and joint custody are often established based on the time children spend with each parent and the overall income of each party.