the truth about Child Custody and support

   Family Law practices represent an important counterweight to gender inequality in California. Although some men might think having to pay child support represents a sort of gender inequality since the burden of child support typically falls on to the back of men, this could not be further from the truth since gender is not a relevant factor when child support is calculated. The remarkable part of some Family Law practices is that it can act as a counterweight to gender inequality while remaining gender neutral. This article will briefly discuss how this is even possible. 

    Any competent child support attorney in San Diego knows that child support is primarily determined by two factors: gross income and time spent with the child. These two factors are plugged into equation and a support calculation determines which parent received child support and how much child support is actually paid out. Thus, the parent with the higher income could pay a substantial portion of their income in child support, depending on the disparity of income and the actual time spent taking care of the children involved. Furthermore, if the parents had roughly equal incomes and shared the domestic responsibility of raising children are equally: parents would not have to worry about paying any child support. Unfortunately, parents typically do not share the responsibility of raising child equally. 

   The reason men seem to bear the lion share of child support is two-fold, having a symmetrical relationship with other economic and social inequalities. First, men on average have a higher income than woman. Some studies claim women earn 30% less than Men on average. Since gross income is a significant factor in calculating the child support, this inequality affects the majority of parents going through a divorce or custody dispute. 

   Secondly, in determining child custody, the court considers who has been the child’s primary caregiver while determining who should be awarded primary physical custody. Since women tend to be the primary caregiver of children, the court tends to give primary physical custody to mothers.  When a parent has primary physical custody, it essentially means that the parent has the child the majority of the time and thus will likely receive child support.

   When parents go through a divorce or are involved in a custody dispute, San Diego Family Court requires that parents go to Family Court Services (FCS) Mediation. During this preliminary step the FCS Counselor makes a time share recommendation based upon the particularities of the individual’s case. In most cases, the court adopts the recommendation of the FCS report that is generated from this meeting. These recommendation look at the family’s history and parent’s ability to care for the children involved. 

   After a time share is determined, the court is bound by a mathematical equation while determining child support. As stated above the two major factors are income and time share of the child. Family Law attorney San Diego typically own computer programs that can run simulation that can give a person an idea of what to expect to pay in child support. Not only can a family law attorney calculate what the court will order a parent to pay in child support, they can help an individual in two important respects. First, an attorney can help parents reach a settlement out side of court with the correct child support amount. In many cases that settle without the help of an attorney or Judge, a parent can agree to pay either above or below the guideline child support. Fortunately, agreements pertaining to child custody and support are not set in stone and can always be modified. Second, family law attorneys can help parents prepare for the Family Court Services (FCS) Mediation. Although attorneys not allowed to attend the FCS Mediation, they can help parents prepare for this incredibility important meeting that will effect a parent’s child custody allocation and in turn affect how much a person pays in child support.