You may have heard that shared custody situations–specifically, those where the parents split time with the children equally, such as in a week-on-week-off arrangement–don’t have court-ordered child support. However, this isn’t always the case. The general thought process is that if the parents are splitting time equally, they will be splitting costs equally, so there is no reason for one parent to be paying child support to the other. But time spent with the children is just one factor of child support, and it is possible to have a 50/50 custody arrangement that also has child support.

If you have questions about how your child custody arrangement may affect child support, contact our firm to learn more. We can go over your case and help you determine if time spent will be a significant factor in your child support order.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Child support is generally determined with a specific formula. It takes into consideration the parents’ income, the number of children, and other factors, such as existing financial obligations. The courts plug the numbers into the formula to come up with a base number for child support. However, it is possible to ask the courts to deviate from this number if there is a good reason. And one of those may be that there is an equal time split between the parents. The courts may also deviate from the base number if there are significant extra expenses, such as in the case of a child with special needs, or if one parent has the benefit of being in a two-income household.

How Do I Request a Child Support Modification?

If your child support has not yet been officially determined, you can put forth an argument that the amount should be deviated. Once an official order is handed down, there are generally specific guidelines surrounding how and when you can request a modification to the child support amount. In general, there has to be a significant change of circumstances, such as job loss, or a certain amount of time has to pass after the effective date of the original order.

What Happens If the Modification Request Is Denied?

Child support modification requests usually go through the California Child Support Services office. If this office denies the modification request, you may have the opportunity to appeal. If that appeal is denied, you may be able to continue the case through the family courts and ask the judge to rule on the matter. It’s important to note that you need grounds for a child support modification. If you’re not sure what that means, you can talk to an attorney.

Our firm is experienced in handling child support orders in Los Angeles and the surrounding area and can help you with your case. An attorney can explain what your current order means, help you understand if you have grounds for a modification, and get the process started. Call (213) 351-1000 to find out more.