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California residents may have heard many myths concerning single parents. A common belief connected to being the primary custodian of a minor child is that oftentimes, the custodial parent receives an exorbitant amount in child support payments. However, the reality is that the amount of child support is determined by the court and not an individual.

In California, the income shares model is used to make a ruling on this issue. A judge will take into account the income of both parents as well as the expect expenses associated with raising a child and the number of children a couple has. Based on all of these factors, this may mean that a non-custodial parent may have to pay a large amount in child support each month.

Other states employ the percentage of income model. In this case, the court will calculate a payment based on the non-custodial parent’s income and a percentage figure, which tends to be around 25 percent per child. When it comes to deciding an appropriate amount of child support, the court’s main focus is on maintaining the child’s standard living, meaning that a judge will look at what benefits and other privileges a child would have had if the parents did not divorce or separate.

A family law lawyer is versed in addressing different aspects of issues associated with a financial obligation to a minor child. This includes everything from obtaining a child support order, modifying an obligation, or enforcing an existing child support decree. An attorney could also represent a parent in court in the event that the matter cannot be resolved outside of it.