Child support is the subsidy paid by one parent to the other to assist in the standard of living the children experience in both homes. Support is paid to offset the basic costs of life including housing, food and other necessities. Without support a smaller wage earner would be severely handicapped in attempting to provide for the children. Similarly, if there is a more affluent life-style in one home and the other is impoverished, the children, particularly if they are older may want to spend more time with the wealthier parent.
In addition to child support, the parties will be expected to share other variable costs. Particularly, the costs of all medical and health treatments and providers, all child care costs used when a custodial parent is working or at school, and all educational and peer recreational costs. To contain costs and establish guidelines, both parties are to be notified in advance of any voluntary expenses prior to the children receiving services. Neither parent will be permitted to arbitrarily refuse to participate if it is within his or her means.
California uses two variables to determine child support. The first is the income of each party from any source; the other is the percentage of time each parent shares with the children. If the both parents earn the same income and each share equal time with the children there will be no support paid by either party to the other. As soon as either variable change, support is appropriate. Today there are software programs which are used to compute support.
My office is one of the leading providers for collecting unpaid child support through retirement assets such as a 401(k) plans when the payor is unable or unwilling to provide support. For more information, see QDRO→