One of the arrangements that may be assigned when parents of minor children end their marriage is joint custody. In this type of arrangement, both parents share legal or physical custody, or both. California parents who are awarded joint custody of their children may have questions about the manner in which child support will be handled.
While the Child Support Standards Act regulates child support duties, it does not handle issues related to joint custody child support. Joint custody arrangements are addressed differently by the courts when decisions have to be made about child support. According to the law, the court is mandated to require the parent who is not responsible for the children on a daily basis to pay a portion of child support. The amount of child support will be determined by multiple factors, including the number of children in question and how much the parent earns.
Each state has its own set of guidelines for determining child support obligations. In certain states, in situations in which the parents are granted equal physical custody, or custody of the children for 50 percent of the time, neither parent may be required to pay child support. In other states, the amount of child support will be determined by obtaining an amount using the appropriate child support formula and then dividing that number in half. Some states will base the calculation of the child support on the number of days the children spend with their parent.
A family law attorney may advise clients about what steps to take to resolve disputes regarding child support. The attorney may petition the court to modify existing child support orders in light of the changed financial circumstances of either parent. The attorney may request that the court initiate collection procedures if a parent is in arrears.