Looking over general child support guidelines can be like reading a math problem in a California middle school classroom. For example, it may say something to the effect of, “if a parent has X children and earns Y income, then he will be responsible for paying Z dollars in child support.” Child support guidelines can make it seem like a person simply has to plug in numbers to discover the set amount of money that will be owed for each month to the children in question.
For some, this straightforward calculation is all that needs to be computed to determine an appropriate child support amount. For most others, however, child support should be more involved than simply tabulating X, Y and Z. Child support does not have to be, and in many cases should not be, a one-size-fits-all application of unbending rules and regulations.
Different children have different needs, and parents are the best advocates for their children’s needs during child support determination hearings. A child’s medical or educational needs may cost more than the guidelines initially provide; these requirements should be included in the total monthly payments that are provided for care. A child’s best interests are generally sought out in the creation of a child support plan.
Moving beyond the state guidelines for computing child support can be hard for some parents, and when struggles arise they may wish to get more information in order to understand how child support can and should be computed. At our law firm, we attempt to help our clients meet their child support needs.