My Ex-Spouse & Share Joint Custody Of our Children; Must I Pay Child Support?

Frequently, in many family law cases, the issue of child custody and child support payments can be contentious and challenging to deal with.

In most divorce decrees, you may have primary physical custody of the children, and your ex-spouse will be ordered to pay child support. However, this arrangement and calculation may differ if you and your ex-partner share physical custody equally.

Most parents assume that in joint custody agreements, neither of you would have to pay child support. However, this may not be the case, as physical custody isn’t the only factor the court considers when determining child support payments.

Numerous issues, such as your and your ex-partner’s income, may be involved. There are always situations where one of you may out-earn the other, and parents still could be made to pay child support. This would hold even if you had joint or 50/50 custody of your children.

All child support payments in California are usually made until your children turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in high school full-time, live at home, and cannot financially support themselves).

All aspects of custody, child support, etc., are detailed in the California Family Code Statutes and thus provide distinct guidelines for determining child support.

Some aspects that the court considers include:

  • Comparison of your and your ex-spouse’s gross income.
  • Both of your monthly net disposable income (after taxes, health premium, expenses, etc.).
  • And each parent’s share of primary physical custody and visitation time.

Plugging these numbers into a formula results in a child support payment amount. The state possesses a calculation that they use to estimate child support payments.

The court will gather all the numbers and put them into a specific formula to calculate the amount of child support to be paid. Except for extenuating circumstances, this amount is assumed to be correct. This is done in all cases, no matter if joint or 50/50 custody is involved.

Therefore, if you are disputing a child support case, your local Fresno child support lawyer’s advice and professional guidance will be invaluable to the outcome of your case.

What Can I Do If I Need to Contest or Change a Child Support Order?

The process is easy if you and your ex-partner agree on the change. Discuss the change decided upon with your child support lawyer, and they will draft it, present the correct documents, and get it accomplished.

If you (or your Ex) don’t agree to the change, it’s more complicated.

Specific items can be brought before the judge, such as:

  • You are now making less money than before.
  • Your ex-spouse is now making more money.
  • You are now spending far more time caring for your children.
  • Your health situation has changed, and more.

Finally, though, an agreement will have to be made either by you and your ex-partner or the judge. Your professional child support lawyer will always know how best to approach the issue on your behalf. They then can file a “Request for Order” to ask that the current child support order be altered.

You must note, however, that each case differs, and your empathetic and experienced Fresno child support lawyer will always be there to fight for your side and rights.

How Will A Change In My Expenses Affect a Child Support Order Modification?

No matter what the custody or child support arrangements are initially, life changes, and so do your income and your expenses.

If these times are upon you, a court-ordered change in child support payments may be warranted.

A few of the common conditions that might affect your child support are:

  • Daycare Expenses – If daycare expenses are included in your child’s support, any change in daycare may serve as a reason to change the original order.
  • Alimony Payments  – If temporary or defined-term alimony ends, the additional income freed up may be considered an increase or decrease in your income. This change in your income may cause your child support order to be modified.
  • Health insurance for the children  – A change in health insurance often triggers filing for a child support modification.
  • Other child support orders – If you have court-ordered child support for children from different marriages, this would be a deduction from your net income. This additional support, however, must be court-ordered to be considered.

Be aware, however, that in California, any modification of child support paid is commonly a complex and challenging legal area. That said, the advice, guidance, and counsel of your professional and experienced child support family lawyer is mandatory. You can proceed confidently by consulting with them first about any changes in your expenses or overall situation.

If I Remarry and Have Joint Custody, Will My Child Support Payments Be Affected?

If you remarry after your divorce, many things might change, including your income and more. The court may even consider your new spouse’s income under certain circumstances in California.

This might occur if:

  • Previously, you and your ex-spouse (“biological” parents) didn’t earn sufficient money to provide for your children’s needs adequately.
  • The remarried parent ceases to work, now earns less than before, remains underemployed or unemployed, and depends on the new spouse’s income. 

For example, if you and your ex-partner didn’t earn enough income to support your children before you remarried, your new spouse is now significantly wealthy. In this case, the court may consider your income now that money isn’t an issue when altering your child support order. This could especially hold if you don’t need to work, and the court may consider your new “household” income, including your new spouse.

You must note that whenever you remarry, it may complicate any child support orders that preceded your new marriage. The court may have to consider numerous things, such as does your new spouse have children and whether stepchildren are now a part of the picture.

The wise way to approach this situation is to consult your Fresno child support lawyer before you remarry and discuss possible complications and changes. Your experienced family law attorney can explain your options and try to overt any severe complications to your or your children’s life.

I Have Reasons To Alter My Child Support; How Should I Proceed?

As life continues after your divorce, changes in our society today are commonplace, and what may have been fair and adequate in the past may no longer hold now.

However, you and your ex-spouse still usually agree that you want your child to be well cared for, which is also foremost in any California court’s decision regarding child support.

The Fresno family lawyers at Bains Law Offices have an extensive and winning history of helping divorced parents make any new changes in their lives work best for them and their children. Call them today at (559) 890-1007 and discuss your situation thoroughly with them as soon as possible, whatever these changes may be. They will professionally and empathetically guide you through any modification process and help give your family a fresh, optimistic start.