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If you have 50/50 custody in California do you have to pay child support?

If parents separate and have 50/50 custody, one ex-spouse may pay more.

children playing

In California, there have been cases of the ex-spouse with a higher income paying more.


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Custody and child support

In California, when a couple divorces, they are given a chance to sort out the details of child support and custody between themselves. However, with this being a tough topic for many, the judge often ends up determining the time spent with each parent. The judge will also make the decision of how much child support is paid. Read more about it here.

In California, several factors are taken into account when making decisions. In addition to who the kids spend the most time with and who has primary custody, net income and monthly expenses of each parent are factored in.

If there is a significant difference between the parent’s income, the judge can alter the equation. Sharing childcare costs is common so that the parent can acquire a work skill and the child can get an education.

If a child’s parents split physical custody 50/50 both parents legally have to support the child financially. The goal is that the child/ children maintain the same standard of living. In order to make this happen, the judge may order the higher earning spouse to pay more in child support despite the even split of physical custody.

California has a calculator tool to help determine how much child support you may have to pay based on the existing guidelines.


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