There are several types of joint custody in California. In the most common joint-custody arrangement, both parents share physical custody and legal custody of the child. This means that both parents are involved in the child’s day-to-day life, and both parents make important decisions regarding education, health care, and religion. The child may live with one or both parents.
Can a parent still receive California child support when there is joint custody?
Yes. The State of California believes that both parents have a duty to provide financial support to a child.
When one parent has sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent is usually ordered to pay child support. When both parents have physical custody, child support is based on other factors, such as the time spent with each parent and each parent’s income. In some cases, the parent who has the children the majority of the time receives child support from the other parent. In other cases, the parent with the higher income is ordered to pay child support to the parent with the lower income.
Child Custody Considered In Child Support Calculation
Many people believe that child support is not granted when both parents share physical custody of a child. However, while child custody is considered in a child support calculation, it is not unusual for one or both parents to be ordered to pay child support even when they share joint custody of the child.
Child support refers to periodic payments made by a parent for the financial support and care of a child. When one co-parent has sole custody of their child, the non-custodial co-parent is usually ordered to pay child support to the custodial co-parent. In joint custody, a child is considered to have two custodial parents. In most cases, the parent with the higher income pays support to the parent with the lower income. But, there are exceptions.
Other factors that affect the amount of child support paid include:
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child
- Tax factors
- The number and age of children living in the home
- Education and child care needs
- The child’s special needs
- The expenses involved in maintaining each home
California Child Custody, Tax Deductions, and Your Rights
What if your California child custody order splits time equally between the parents?
In this case, the parent with the highest adjusted gross income gets to claim the child.
If you are the custodial parent, you can choose to give your ex-spouse the right to claim your child or children as a dependent. In fact, when there is more than one child, divorced parents may opt to split the deductions so that everyone benefits. To do this, you must fill out IRS Form 8832. You can specify whether you are giving up the deduction for one year or multiple years. Your ex-spouse must then attach the form to his income tax return.
Some California divorce agreements require that the custodial parent give up the right to a tax exemption through Form 8832.
Every situation is different. If you have questions about your own California child support case, please contact the Marin County divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan. Our women-only divorce attorneys fight hard to make sure mothers get the financial support they need. To schedule an appointment, call us at 415-341-1144.