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Figuring out the right child support amount

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Figuring out the right child support amount

When a couple cannot make family law decisions on their own, a judge decides custody and child support matters instead. How much a single parent receives varies, and a formula typically helps a court make this decision. However, there is no perfect way to arrive at the right number for child support payments.

Why assign child support payments?

Child support is intended to give offspring the best standard of living possible based on the situation of both parents. This means that a child should not live in a household that struggles financially if the other parent is very wealthy, and child support provides a middle ground. In celebrity custody cases, the large amount a single parent receives accounts for the high level of income one party makes.

Payment Amount

Support is decided by the income shares model in California. This means that the court looks at the income of each parent, the number of children and the estimated cost of raising the children. Keep in mind that other factors might also matter to a judge, which is why a judge has the ability to use his or her discretion and assign an amount different from what a formula lists.

Expectations vs. Reality

Ideally, child support helps make a single parent's job easier by removing some of the financial hardship. However, the child support system does have flaws, and some parents are assigned amounts that they have trouble paying and then face fines or other consequences for not meeting support obligations. If you have questions about child support or have a problem with the amount you are supposed to pay or receive, contact us today.


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