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Typical California Divorce Settlements About Child Support

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Every family law case is unique, but there are specific terms that will apply to many cases and frequently appear in typical divorce settlements in California. Each divorce case has different facts, but there are standard terms that overlap. Knowing these common terms and how they apply to your California divorce case can be very helpful when filing for divorce or responding to a divorce petition in California. For instance, when approaching a California divorce case that will involve child support, there are several terms that you can expect to see in the typical divorce settlement.

Key Terms in Child Support Cases:

Non-custodial Parent: the parent with less parenting time is referred to as the non-custodial parent and is usually the parent ordered to make child support payments to the other parent.

Child Support Order: The order issued by the court requiring that one parent pay the other parent a certain amount to provide for the support of the child. Usually, one parent (the non-custodial parent) makes payments to the custodial parent, but a court can order both parents to pay child support. California child support orders, unless otherwise specified by the court or agreed on by both parents, are in force until the child turns 18.

California has laws in place designed to regulate child support and designed to make child support uniform throughout California. Cases involving child support can become highly contentious with disagreements about income, a parent’s potential earning potential, etc. But there are more common California divorce settlements in child support cases.

Typical Divorce Settlements Involving Child Support:

1.    The duration of the child support is determined by law. Most divorce settlements addressing child support issues borrow straight from the Family Code when discussing the duration of the child support payment. The law states, “Child support terminates when a child turns 18 years old except when the 18-year-old child is still a full-time high school student and lives with a parent. In that situation, child support terminates when the child turns 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. California child support also terminates if a child marries, joins the military, is emancipated or dies.” While California parents can mutually agree to a longer-term of child support obligation, it is not common.

2.    The amount of child support is generally determined using the California guidelines. The “guideline” is the amount of child support due when using the accepted mathematical equation accepted by the state. The “guideline” amount is presumed to be the correct amount unless the judge determines (based on a specific basis that the law allows) that the facts of the case warrant a deviation. In some cases, determining child support is simple. In other cases, it can be quite tricky. For instance, when there are disputes regarding income or earning potential or when parties are in disagreement regarding custody or parenting time, etc.

If you need assistance negotiating child support or if you need to file for a California divorce, don’t waste any time. Get in touch with the experienced divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.

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