There can be all kinds of reasons why families don’t stay together, and sometimes they never get together in the first place. Whatever the situation you have found yourself in, if you have children they will need support. That can come in many different forms, but the most important is material support, in other words, money.

Every child is entitled to this support and there are no exceptions. When families stay together as a unit, the support issue is already settled, as the costs involved with raising and caring for a child are simply part of the regular household expenses. But when one or both parents is living but out of the picture, it creates an imbalance which needs to be rectified.

It may be the case that the parent with custody has the means to support the child alone, but this isn’t always the most fair scenario, and the law tends to take the view that parents have equal responsibility for the costs of supporting the child. There can even be scenarios where both parents have to pay child support to a third party, but those are more exceptional situations.

As a parent with the responsibility of caring for a child on your own, you may have concerns about ensuring that the non-custodial parent will pay their fair share of child support costs. As a non-custodial parent, you could worry that the amount of child support you’re paying is not the correct amount for your circumstances. What can you do in situations like this?

According to Carlsbad child support attorney Fischer & Van Thiel, it’s very important to seek appropriate legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Any kind of delay can be harmful to your chances of getting the best outcome. You have certain rights and obligations as a parent, and understanding these is vital.

  • Except in situations where a child may be placed at risk of harm, or where the parents live very far apart, each parent generally has the same rights of access to the child.
  • Except in situations where a child may be placed at risk of harm, or where the parents live very far apart, each parent generally has the same rights of access to the child.
  • Each parent starts with an equal obligation to contribute to the financial support of the child. Courts may adjust the amount of child support required to be paid by each parent, taking individual circumstances into account. Unless you successfully apply for a revision of the amount you are ordered to pay, you must pay it, and it must be paid regularly.
  • A 2003 study by the Urban Research Institute for the California Department of Child Support Services found that nearly 80% of Californian parents who did not pay the correct amount of child support were failing to do so because they were unable. This is indicative of the possibility that the amount set for them to pay was too high to begin with (or in other situations, their circumstances may have substantially changed since the child support order was made). It is possible to have these circumstances examined, but again it is crucial to do this as soon as possible. Waiting could severely harm your chances of getting a favorable assessment.