In the state of California, fathers have rights too – and that’s true across every aspect of divorce, including child support. Like mothers, dads are considered incredibly important parts of kids’ lives in the Stockton family court system. Their rights and responsibilities, just like those expected of mothers, extend providing their kids with emotional and financial support.
Fathers’ Rights and Child Support in California
Caring for children is as much a father’s responsibility as it is a mother’s under California law, and that includes the payment or receipt of child support. Here’s the bottom line:
- Either parent can request child support from the other party in a divorce
- The court decides who will pay child support
- The court determines a fair amount of child support, regardless of the paying parent’s gender
Requesting Child Support From Your Ex-Spouse
As a father, you have the right to request that your ex-spouse pay child support if you are sharing custody of the children or if you have sole custody. A parent receiving child support is permitted to use it for:
- Educational expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Housing expenses
- Medical expenses
- School expenses
- Transportation expenses
- Anything else the receiving parent needs to provide for the children, including utility bills and other necessities
Do Fathers Have the Right to Avoid Paying Too Much Child Support?
In California, both parents are treated equally, regardless of gender. That means fathers (as well as mothers) have the right to avoid paying too much child support. We don’t mean too much as if there’s ever too high an expense to care for your children – we mean so much child support that it puts you in the poorhouse.
California’s child support formula, which judges can deviate from when necessary, is what courts use to determine how much child support one parent will pay the other to help out with the couple’s children. The formula relies on net income and how much time each parent spends with the children, but other factors do come into play, such as:
- Child care expenses
- Medical insurance premiums
- Tax implications for both parents
- Other expenses that affect each party’s situation
Because the formula is largely dependent on each parent’s net income, it prevents calculations that exceed what’s reasonable in most cases. However, if the formula turns out to take more money than is economically feasible for one parent to pay, the judge can use his or her discretion to make the appropriate adjustments.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Fathers’ Rights and Child Support?
We can answer your questions about fathers’ rights and child support, and we can protect those rights during your divorce.
Call us at (209) 546-6246 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an attorney. We may be able to help you.