In California, parents have a legal obligation to support their children. In most cases, the non-custodial parent (or the parent with less parenting time) will be the parent that is ordered to pay child support to the other parent. The parent that is ordered to pay child support is referred to as the payor or obligor. The parent that receives a child support award is referred to as the payee or obligee. Many people know this basic information and therefore believe that the issue of child support is straightforward. However, issue of child support is actually much more complex in many cases.
Family courts begin a child support analysis by inquiring about the incomes of each parent and the amount of time that each parent spends with a child, which is referred to as the “timeshare” of each parent. Calculating a parent’s income may seem like an easy task because sure, the court may be able to easily calculate a parent’s income by reviewing his or her pay stubs or tax returns. However, not all pay stubs are the same and some may be more difficult to decipher than others. An experienced child support attorney can assist you in ensuring that you receive all of the income records necessary from the other parent so that the proper child support calculation can be determined by the court.
There are also many parents that are self-employed, which means that his or her income may not be as easy for a family court to determine. One of the problems that regularly arises in a child support case where a parent is self-employed is that the self-employed parent may intentionally decide to earn less income so that they are ordered to pay less child support.
The family courts calculate a parent’s timeshare by determining how many days in a year that parent spends with a child (the days in a year are then usually broken down further to determine the average number of days that a parent spends with a child per month). Once the family court determines how many days each parent spends with their child, the court then determines the percentage of time that each parent has with their child.
Calculating a parent’s timeshare may be a difficult task in many cases, especially if the parent is not keeping track of the number of days that he or she is spending with their child.
Please do not hesitate to contact Valenzuela & Montoya, LLP if you wish to speak with an
experienced child support attorney in Sacramento.