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The power of a Family Court Judge – If I have custody will I receive child support?

San Diego Divorce and Family Law Attorney, Paul Staley, released a new YouTube video: If I have custody will I receive child support?

Child support is mandatory if one parent asks the family court judge to order it.  In a way, it’s one of the most certain things about family court proceedings.  Well, at least the math is certain.  The data goes in, a number comes out, and that is what the judge must order.  But don’t jump the gun.  Presenting and arguing the data which goes – or should go – into the formula is one of the places where the greatest number of people need the most help.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked to finish a case started by someone and have discovered really big mistakes in how child support was handled.  The consequences are huge and long lasting.  A few hundred dollars per month over a period of  years adds up to a lot of money.  It’s worth it to get it right.

What goes into the formula?  The amount of income of each parent and the amount of time the child / children spend(s) with each parent.  Seems simple enough, right?  And yet, it isn’t.  For example, you might think time spent in school shouldn’t really counted to either parent, right? I mean, the kid is in school, or child care, or camp, or wherever, and neither parent is hovering nearby directly caring for the child.  But you’d be wrong.  Time with the parent who doesn’t have custody of the child is added up.And, I suppose, to be fair, that can also include school time.Often, though, it’s weekend time.  Alright, so the “non-custodial” parent’s “child share” is figured out and a percentage assigned to it.  Say, alternating weekends = about 15%. ALL other time (i.e. 85%) is assigned to the parent who has custody.  Is this fair?  I won’t try to answer that here.  What’s most important for now is for you to know what you’re dealing with so you can make really-well informed decisions.

Transcript of Paul’s Video

If I have custody will I receive child support?

The question is, if I have custody, will I receive child support? And the answer is probably. But remember that child support is calculated based on two factors, not just one. It’s based on how much time the children are spending with each parent, and also what are the incomes of the parents. So I have personally experienced situations where we have the custodial parent where say as the children all week and the non-custodial parent who has them alternating weekends and maybe some other time. And the custodial parent earns so much more than the non custodial parent and when you plug all those factors into the formula, the custodial parent actually still ends up paying some support to the other parent. But that’s fairly rare. Generally speaking, what we’re going to see is that the custodial parent is going to be receiving some child support.

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