During a California divorce proceeding, you will need to make a lot of decisions about your future. If you have children, you will need to make important decisions that may impact not only yourself, but also the lives of your children. Two important decisions involve child custody and child support. These two primary areas must be thoroughly dealt with before your divorce can be finalized.
Child Custody in California Divorces
California law is more favorable to parents agreeing to share joint legal and physical custody of their children in divorce proceedings. This type of custody arrangement allows children to remain in frequent and continuing contact with both of their parents after the divorce. The best possible scenario in a divorce involving children would be for parents to agree to 50/50 custody of their kids. This would allow each parent an equal share of visitation rights.
Child Support in California Divorces
Child support and child custody are two different things. California law requires both parents to financially provide for their children after divorce. Courts must consider many different factors when making child support decisions. Some factors include:
- Each parent’s income or earning potential
- Assets, debts, and liabilities
- The number of children each parent has
- Health insurance costs and premiums
- Support received from other parents
- Shared costs for raising the child, and
- Custody arrangements.
Child Support in 50/50 Custody Arrangements
In divorce proceedings where both spouses agree to share custody of their children equally, the custody factor takes a back seat. However, just because you have agreed to a 50/50 custody arrangement, it does not mean you are totally absolved of your child support obligations. The court will still consider various factors, especially each parent’s financial stability when determining if parents in 50/50 custody arrangements should be required to pay child support. In some situations, it may not be realistic or financially feasible to place an equal financial burden on both parents.
During divorces, it may be easy for parents to forget that child support is for the benefit of their children. Lines can be blurred when tempers run high. It is important to remember that a court will not order a parent to pay child support if it does not believe that it is truly in the best interest of the child.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for divorce, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.