A decision to file for divorce is definitely not something to be taken lightly, especially if children are involved. California parents often worry that if they end a marriage, they will struggle to provide for the ongoing needs of their children. This is particularly true in cases where a parent has sacrificed a career during marriage to stay home full-time and raise a family. Learning as much as possible about state child support laws ahead of time may help alleviate stress during court proceedings.
A judge overseeing a divorce case involving custody, visitation and support will rule based upon the specific evidence presented in court. The state, however, provides uniform guidelines regarding child support issues. A judge may take many factors into consideration to determine whether a parent should pay child support, as well as how much the payments should be, how often they are made and through what means. One of the first issues most often considered is the income of both parents.
Whether one or more children are involved is also a pertinent factor. How much time each parent usually spends with the children in question during marriage, as well as which parent typically handles child-related care issues, such as taking children to the doctors, attending school conferences and transporting children to sports practices or other activities may also influence the court’s decision. It is often a noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay child support.
It is critical that a clear and thorough assessment of a parent’s financial status be provided to the court when child support is a central focus of proceedings. A California family law attorney can help a concerned parent protect his or her children’s best interests. Also, any parent in need of seeking modification of an existing support order may turn to an experienced attorney for guidance.