California parents who are contemplating a divorce may be interested in a recent study on child support that was conducted in both the U.S. and England. While the two legal systems are different in many ways, the study shows that people in both countries find the current child support regimen unfair. The research showed that the respondents largely believed that child support payments should take into account the custodial parent's income. In some states, child support is based only on the amount the noncustodial parent earns and does not consider the income of the custodial parent.
The respondents included a group of prospective jurors in Arizona as well as individuals from England. The questions focused on the child support payment system and asked participants to imagine the changes they would make. Respondents showed a significant difference from the law in most states when it came to adjusting support payments based on one parent's income. Respondents were also more likely to take into account a stepparent's income when adjusting theoretical child support payments.
Many observers are dissatisfied with the current system in which each state has its own set of guidelines to determine the amount and the duration of child support payments. As the study has shown, public opinion appears to lean towards including the income and assets of both divorced parents when making these determinations.
Parents who are ending their marriage often have many things to consider, including who will get legal and physical custody of their children as well as whether support will be forthcoming. A family law attorney can provide assistance to a parent in negotiating an agreement that will cover these and other issues and that can be approved by the court.