When you and your spouse decide to divorce, it can be an overwhelming and emotional process, especially for your children. To make this process easier for children, the courts have decided that minors are entitled to the same standard of living they received when their parents were together, meaning the non-custodial parent must make a monthly child support payment to help financially care for their children. If you’re wondering when these installments will stop or if you have any additional questions, the following blog and Los Angeles child support attorneys can help.
What Influences How Much a Child Support Payment Is?
There are many factors that influence how much the non-custodial parent will pay in child support. The courts will generally consider the following information:
- The income of each parent
- How much time they spend with their children
- The earning potential of the receiving parent
- Childcare expenses, such as daycare or medical bills
- Any additional relevant expenses
These factors are considered carefully to ensure the children would have the same standard of living they had when their parents were living together. For example, a child should not have to give up their extracurricular hobbies because their parents are divorced, and the custodial parent may be unable to afford the expenses. This ensures both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children.
When Will Payments Cease?
In California, child support payments typically end when the child turns 18. However, if the child is still in high school when they turn 18, the installments will continue until they graduate or turn 19, whichever comes first. Similarly, if a child gets married, joins the military, passes away, or becomes emancipated, the payments will cease.
However, if your child is disabled and cannot support themselves, payments may continue. Also, if both parents agree to continue supporting their children after they turn 18 or graduate, installments will carry on.
What Happens if I Need a Change in Payments?
In some instances, you may require a change in the payments you receive. This can happen if you or your ex-spouse’s income changes. However, the other parent may not agree with altering the payments, especially if it means they will be paying more monthly.
If this is the case, you can file a form FL-300 that asks the courts to modify the payments. It is imperative to make the request as soon as possible. This is because a judge can only make alterations from the day you filed the papers. For example, if you discover that your ex-spouse has a new job and makes significantly more money, but you wait three months to file the paper, you are not entitled to the funds accrued before you filed.
When you need help, the Zitser Family Law Group can help. Our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to help put the needs of your children first. Contact us today to learn more about how we will fight for you.