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Custody & Support Modifications

A Child Support Modification May Not Always Go as Expected

Child support can be a sticking point for many parents in California who are no longer in a relationship with one another. Of course, parents want to give their child the best upbringing they can. However, some parents may feel like they pay too much in child support. They may feel it is simply more than they can afford, or they may not approve of how their ex is spending the money. Conversely, some parents may feel like they do not receive enough in child support. They may feel that they are struggling financially to raise their child or they may feel like their ex earns enough to warrant higher payments.

For these reasons, either the paying parent or the receiving parent may move the court for a child support modification. However, upon moving the court for an increase in the amount paid, they may be surprised to find their payments will be going down, or vice versa. This is because there are many factors that go into calculating a child support award. For example, each party's income and the amount of time they spend with the child could affect how much child support is awarded. The court will take all of these factors into account when deciding on a child support modification, and will either increase the amount paid, decrease the amount paid or keep payments the same, depending on the circumstances.

It is important that a child support award is reached that neither causes financial stress on either party, but still meets the child's needs. Child support goes to more than simply paying for the child's food, clothing, and shelter. Children will have medical expenses, educational expenses, entertainment expenses and expenses for extracurricular activities. Child support may also cover costs associated with child care and transportation.

Parents need to understand that, if they request a child support modification, the final award could go either up or down. This is due to the numerous factors that go into calculating child support. In the end, however, what is most important is that the child's best interests are being met in a way that is financially sustainable to both parents, even if the parents have gone through a divorce or are no longer in a relationship with one another.