So what does the law say on child support obligations in California? The child’s best interest is the State’s number one priority. Under Family Code 4053, the legislature laid out the position on child support, and the related analysis and bases.
The code establishes that a parent’s primary obligation is to support their child(ren). The obligation is a mutual one, applying to both parents, which establishes that support payments be based upon the parent’s respective ability to pay, income, and custodial timeshare. The code also establishes that the child(ren) share in the parents’ standard of living.
It is also understood that child support may also increase a custodial parent’s standard of living, under the theory that by increasing a custodial parent’s standard of living, the child’s standard of living is also increased. The high cost of living is also a consideration under the code. There is a presumption that the primary parent is already making large contributions to the needs of the children. Also, child support is always modifiable. Any contractual provision seeking to terminate child support is not valid. Below guideline support can be established if certain criteria are met.
If you have questions about your child support payments, and whether what you are paying or receiving is accurate, please feel free to contact Mendes Weed, LLP. You may also use this calculator to give you an idea.