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How joint custody impacts child support payments

When a parent in California gets joint custody, they share time with their children with the other parent. Essentially, both parents are responsible for the emotional, financial and educational well-being of the child. This may cause some divorcing parents to wonder what impact joint custody will have on the amount of child support that will be paid.

The Child Support Standards Act is what stipulates how child support is paid out. However, this act does not discuss joint custody child support. The court looks at this with a different set of criteria and makes different arrangements.

There are a number of factors that the court will take into consideration when determining how much, if any, child support should be paid. For example, if one parent cares for the child the majority of the time and has the responsibility to cover the majority of the child's expenses, then the other parent may be required to pay child support. However, if the child's time with the parents is divided equally and both parents are responsible for covering their child's expenses, then the court may decide that neither parent needs to pay child support.

At times, divorcing parents have a good enough relationship that allows them to have an oral agreement that determines how certain expenses will be cared for without the court needing to stipulate child support. In other circumstances, parents may create a written agreement outlining how these expenses will be cared for.

A family law attorney has the responsibility to represent their client during divorce proceedings. If necessary, legal counsel will present evidence showing that their client is fit as a parent and encourage the court to make judgments that are in the best interests of the children involved.

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