Today’s child custody and child support arrangements are not like past traditional arrangements. Under traditional arrangements, mothers were generally awarded primary custody, and fathers paid child support. Today there are objective guidelines that help in calculating child support, and parents’ gender does not play a role in those calculations.
If you are working to establish or modify child support terms, attorney Bruce A. Mandel can help. We know that there is no one size fits all solution to custody and support matters. We will work with you to advocate for the fairest custody and support terms that are in your child’s best interests.
Why Traditional Child Support Arrangements Have Changed
Traditional support arrangements have changed for several reasons, including more women than ever before are major players in the workforce, and it is not uncommon for women to make more money than their spouses. Also, more than ever before, men have been taking on a greater role in parenting, often sacrificing their career and salary to do so.
Another reason traditional support arrangements have changed is that the traditional family has changed. Divorce arrangements used to be mainly breadwinner ex-husbands paying child support to lower-income earning ex-wives. These arrangements are no longer the norm, especially in California, where gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation do not impact a couple’s right to marry and have children.
Calculating Child Support Under California Law
Under California law, both parents are responsible for supporting their children. With some exceptions, courts follow California’s child support guidelines when making decisions about child support. In calculating support payments, the focus is mainly on each parent’s income and the percentage of physical time children spend with each parent. Additional considerations may include:
- Earning potential
- The number of children parents have with each other and with others
- Health insurance and healthcare costs
- Children’s education expenses
- Children’s special needs expenses if applicable
- Travel expenses for visitation if applicable
Child Support Modifications
Even when men are initially ordered to pay child support, family circumstances can change, which may lead to child support modification. For example, if a father is ordered to pay child support, and later the mother’s income significantly increases due to career advancement, the father may seek a child support modification. This modification could result in the father paying less child support or the mother being required to pay child support to the father.
Family circumstances can change quickly and unexpectedly, and modifications to child support decrees are not uncommon. Other factors that may be considered in child support modifications include loss of income, disability, marriage, a need to support other children, or an increase in child expenses.
California Child Support Attorney
If you are seeking to establish or modify child support, you need an experienced attorney to advocate for your rights and your child’s best interests. Contact the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel at 424-250-9130 or online to schedule a consultation. We have spent more than three decades representing clients in child custody, child support, and other family law matters. Follow us on Facebook for more California family law information and updates.