For many families, sharing custody is the best decision for both the parents and the children. However, parents may also wonder how joint custody will affect their ability to support their child. 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. 

Some parents are able to work out a support arrangement without involving the courts. However, it is often better for both parties to have a legal agreement in writing. California uses both income and parenting time when calculating child support in cases where parents share custody.  Unless you let the court know the percentage of time that the child spends with each parent, a 50-50 split will be assumed. Support is determined initially using a child support calculator, but adjustments can be made for education costs, child care needs, and a child’s special needs. Let your San Francisco divorce attorney know if there are any special factors that should be taken into consideration when calculating support for your children.

The San Francisco child support lawyers at The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan have written a book to help women during and after divorce. To reserve your copy of What Every Woman in California Should Know About Divorce, click on the link in the sidebar. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call 415-341-1144.

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