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How are child support orders created?

In the state of California, a parent is required to financially support his or her child regardless of that parent’s marital status. There are many different factors that a judge might take into account when determining how much a parent should contribute. These factors typically include a mother or father’s income and how much an individual already contributes toward the welfare of a son or daughter.

Understanding the best interest of the child

Ultimately, a child support order must ensure that the child’s best interests are preserved. This means that a minor will have the financial resources needed to obtain safe housing, nutritious food and adequate clothing. If necessary, a parent may be required to contribute toward the cost of extraordinary medical, educational or other expenses.

Time may not equal money

As a general rule, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of child support you must provide and the amount of time that you spend with your kids. In other words, the more time that you spend with your children, the less a court will likely order you to pay your child’s other parent. However, it is worth noting that if your income is significantly higher than your partner’s, a judge may order you to pay support despite having your kids 50% of the time or more.

If you share a child with a former partner, you’ll likely be ordered to make monthly child support payments. At a minimum, you’ll be required to provide a basic level of care whenever you are with your kids. Even if you have full custody of your children, you’ll likely be asked to provide at least some money for extraordinary expenses as they arise.