For some people, there’s a gross misconception that child support need only cover a child’s bare necessities, like food and clothing. Truthfully, child support is meant to cover a wide range of expenses related to caring for a child. Such expenses could include medical care, dental costs, school fees, extracurricular activities, entertainment, and then some.

Decisions Are Based on Need, Not Finances Alone

To help clarify the matter, all 50 states have established child support guidelines to determine how much child support each parent may be required to pay. However, the courts in turn will also take into consideration a variety of factors involved: parents’ incomes, ability to pay, the financial needs of the children, and the amount of support needed to sustain a child, plus, if at all possible, the amount of support needed to maintain a child’s existing standard of living. All child support decisions vary. There is no simple minimal amount to be paid, predefined by California, nor by any state.

Many Pre-Calculations and No Final Accounting Required

Even with all that’s involved to determine how much child support will be paid, the courts do not require parents to prove how they spend the payments they receive. There can be exceptions, when a child’s needs are not being met. Otherwise, the assumption is that parents with physical custody of a child will pay all the necessary expenses needed to raise the child. Thus, the courts will not monitor the spending habits of the custodial parent.

Making Sense of Child Support Calculations

For California (or any state), it is important to consult a professional to determine how much child support may be calculated in your particular case. If you are seeking a San Francisco child custody decree that takes the best interests of your children seriously, contact family law attorney Paul H. Nathan for a consultation by calling 415-341-1144.

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