Child custody and child support are issues that arise not just when there is divorce, but also for unmarried couples who have a child and end their relationship. Child custody and child support frequently present some of the most emotional and disagreed upon issues in a divorce case. We are committed to our clients in ensuring that child support accurately reflects the income of both parties, and that any child custody plan is truly for the child’s best interest.
Child Custody: Physical Custody & Legal Custody.
Physical custody refers to with whom the child stays with physically, whereas legal custody refers to who has the authority to make important decisions regarding a child’s education, welfare, and healthcare. In a California divorce, both types of custody can be contested, and ultimately any custody determination should be made with the child’s best interest at heart. When fighting for custody, visitation is also an important consideration. Visitation refers to how the parents will share time with their child. We will tirelessly work to ensure that any custody determination is made so that the child’s life is disrupted as minimal as possible, and that the parents can continue to provide continuity and normalcy for the child.
Child support is the amount of money the court orders a parent to pay the other parent every month for the support of their child. California law determines child support via a formula (also called guidelines). The formula takes into consideration the following: How much money the parents earn or can earn; How much other income each parent receives; How many children these parents have together; How much time each parent spends with their children (time-share); The actual tax filing status of each parent; Support of children from other relationships; Health insurance expenses; Mandatory union dues; Mandatory retirement contributions; The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured health-care costs; and Other factors. The number produced under the formula is presumed to be accurate, and a court can only order a different amount under certain exceptions. Under those exceptions, parents may agree to a different amount other than dictated by the child support guidelines.