How does parenting time affect child support?

In California, both parents typically are responsible for the expenses that come with raising a child. If you and your child’s parent are no longer together, however, you may need to come up with a custody arrangement.

Whether you have sole or joint physical custody of your child, you may be eligible to receive child support. Nevertheless, you may wonder how your scheduled parenting time affects the child support you receive or must pay.

How do judges determine child support?

In the Golden State, judges use a formula to determine child support. Among others, this formula includes the following components:

  • The amount of time each parent has the child
  • The number of children
  • The monthly income of each parent

Who pays for unexpected expenses?

A court’s child support order usually requires one parent to make monthly support payments. If unexpected expenses arise, such as the costs of extracurricular activities, you may have to split them with your child’s co-parent.

Can you keep your child away from a non-paying co-parent?

Whether you pay or receive child support, custody is a different matter. Consequently, you cannot refuse to let your child’s co-parent see his or her child, even if the co-parent has decided to ignore a support order. As CapRadio reports, though, a non-paying parent may have to pay fees and interest, while also facing other penalties.

Because parenting time is part of the child support formula, you ultimately want to be as accurate as possible when calculating the amount of time you spend with your son or daughter. After all, being off by even a bit may cause you either to overpay or to receive less support than you deserve.