Child support is the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay every month to help pay for the support of the child (or children) and the child’s living expenses.
When parents separate, one of the first things they should think about is child support. Child support is the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay every month to help pay for the support of the child (or children) and the child’s living expenses.
Children need the financial support of both parents because they do better. They also have a right to it by law. California’s child support law is based on the principle that even though parents have separated or divorced, children should continue to benefit from the financial support of both parents, just like they would if the parents were still together.
In making an order for support, the court will determine each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs based upon their financial circumstances. The court will use a child support guideline formula to determine which parent will pay support and how much that support will be.
In addition to this basic child support, the court may require the paying parent to pay additional support to contribute money towards special expenses for the children. If there is child care cost to enable the parent(s) to work or get employment training or there are any uninsured health care costs for the children, the court must divide this cost among the parents. The court can decide if the parents should share additional costs related to the child (rens) education, other special needs or travel expenses for visitation. Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and cannot support themselves).
Child support is not the same as spousal or domestic partner support. Child support is money paid for the benefit of the child – not the parent who receives the child support payment. Child support is not a fee that is paid in exchange for spending time with the children. Whatever the parenting arrangements may be, children have the right to receive child support.