Joint Custody Cannot Be Used to Avoid Child Support
Kelly and Mark were recently divorced. They have two sons, 8-year-old Aiden and 6-year-old Cole. Kelly works part time and has been the primary caretaker of the children since they were born. Mark spends some time with the boys but has a job that requires frequent travel. When Mark moved out to live with his girlfriend, the children stayed with Kelly. Mark sees them on the weekends that he is in town. However, Mark is unhappy about paying child support. He told Kelly that he’d like to have the children live with him during half the year so he won’t have to pay support.
Mark is in for a surprise. First of all, 50/50 custody can be logistically impossible and difficult on the children. The court will look at all factors, including Mark’s travel schedule and the children’s needs when determining California child custody. Since Kelly’s work schedule coincides with the children’s hours in school, she has more time to care for their sons.
Because the state of California requires both parents to provide for a child, joint custody does not remove the obligation to pay child support. In California, child support is calculated based on a number of factors, including the time spent with each parent and the difference between the parents’ incomes. Since Mark earns significantly more than Kelly, he is likely to be ordered to pay child support even if he shares 50/50 custody with Kelly.
Is your ex asking for joint custody to avoid paying child support? Every situation is unique. Our San Francisco child support attorneys are here to protect your rights and help you and your family find the child support solutions that work for you. To schedule an appointment, contact The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan at 415-341-1144.
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