The Correlation Between Child Support and Parenting Time

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAs per child support laws in California, a direct correlation exists between visitation or parenting time and child support. Many lawyers consider it as a kind of double edged sword. A parent who enjoys more time with the child will have a more compelling requirement of child support. This is good in theory. In practicality, connecting child support and parenting time means giving parents with dubious motives the use of parenting time and custody as a kind of leverage in the child support scheme.

Termination of child support

There will be a termination of child support when that child becomes 18 years of age. There can be exceptions to this rule. This rule cannot be applied if the 18 year old continues to study in high school and lives with his or her parent. For this kind of situation, support of the child will terminate with him or her turning 19 years of age or the person being a high school graduate- whichever comes first. The laws in California also state that support of the child will also be terminated in case the child gets married or joins the military or is emancipated. Child support will also end if the recipient dies. Parents, however, may agree on continuing to provide child support even beyond that age if both of them agrees to do so. 

Guideline child support

In California, a computer program informs the judge what the child support will be. It must be mentioned that the correct information must be inputted into the program. The Family Court has no compulsion to follow the child support guideline of California. There must be a proper reason, however, to deviate from it. It is not permissible for the California Courts to simply fail when it comes to order the amount of child support as stated by the guideline for reasons not applicable by law. The reason for this is that the child support number as stated by the guideline is presumed to be correct. This presumption of being correct could be rebutted both up and down. It is required by the court to have the needed admissible evidence which shows that the formula for guideline will be inappropriate or unjust in that case. It is to be kept in mind that the person who wants the California court to deviate from guideline formula must be the one to plea the court that it is needed.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation