Child support is important to many separated or divorced parents’ lives. It helps ensure that their children’s financial needs are met and they receive the necessary support for their upbringing.
However, many non-custodial parents wonder if their child support amount should change if they have their kids more during summer. Child support is a legal obligation, and modifications can only be made to the agreement with good reason.
Read on to find out how California arrives at child support amounts and when non-custodial parents can request child support modifications.
California’s custodial percentage timeshares explained
When summer arrives, children often have an extended break from school, allowing more opportunities for parenting time with the non-custodial parent. Suppose your child spends additional time with you, the non-custodial parent, during the summer. In that case, you may wonder whether the child support amount you contribute should change.
Well, in California, child support is determined using custodial percentage timeshares. This is to say that yearly child support contributions are pre-calculated by totaling the nights your child stays with you and your co-parent, and the sum is averaged out over the year. That means having your child for more nights during summer break would only change your child support amount if that extended time wasn’t already factored into the agreed-upon parenting plan.
For example, suppose your co-parent requested that you stay with your child during all three months of summer break, whereas according to the current parental plan, you were supposed to be with them for three weeks. In that case, this might need to be addressed with a child support modification.
In California, child support is determined by custodial percentage timeshares. Once you and your co-parent establish a parental plan, your child support contribution remains unchanged unless and until there are significant changes in either your income, your co-parent’s income, your child’s basic needs or the custody schedule. If you’re unsure about whether you need a modification of support, it may be time to seek experienced legal guidance.