When parents divorce or separate in California, they have to develop a child custody, child support and visitation plan. Generally speaking, child custody refers to the care, control and maintenance of a child. The court can award custody to one or both parents. On the other hand, visitation rights refer to the specific amount of time a parent spends with his/her child. Lastly, child support refers to the amount of money one parent pay to the other for his/her child’s maintenance. At A People’s Choice, we can help you get a custody, child support and visitation order. Read on to learn more about the connection between child support and visitation.

Visitation Order Overview

First and foremost, parents who separate need to develop a parenting plan. This parenting plan should detail how their children will spend time with them. The court will usually approve a parenting plan (commonly called time-share or visitation) developed by parents.

“My ex-husband and I were going through an amicable divorce. We did not want to fight over things and certainly did not want to hire attorneys, but we did need some guidance about child support.” Marilyn J.
“A People’s Choice was able to run a child support report with different visitation schedules. This report was very helpful for us to see how different schedules affected the amount of support my ex-husband would pay.” Marilyn J.
“Having this information about how custody time, visitation and support affect each other, we were able to reach an agreement on that was fair for both of us.” Marilyn J.

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Visitation can be structured in many ways. In this regard, it is important to understand the different options. For example, what are options for visitation? What do they mean? More importantly, how do they affect the time a parent has with their child? When addressing visitation, refer to the following:

  • Visitation according to a schedule. A visitation according to a schedule details dates and times that the children will spend with each parent. Keep in mind, visitation schedules should also define holidays, summer breaks, special occasions, and vacations.
  • Reasonable visitation. Reasonable visitation orders are more fluid. In other words, they do not detail dates and times children will spend with each parent. This type of visitation plan is best for parents who get along.
  • Supervised visitation. Supervised visitations are ordered when the child’s safety and well-being with a parent is of concern. The court may order another adult or professional to be present while a parent spends time with his/her child.
  • No visitation. No visitation occurs when the child’s safety and welfare are in danger. In this regard, for a “no visitation order, the court must determine that it is not in the best interest of a child to be in contact with his/her parent(s). A step-up plan can be developed to eventually allow for supervised visitation.

Child Support Overview

Child support refers to the legal obligation of both parents to financially support their minor children. The court may order both or one parent to provide payments to cover their child’s living and medical expenses. These payments are called “child support” and are typically  paid monthly from one parent to the other.

In California, child support is based on a complicated formula. This formula is called California Guideline Support. Several factors are taken into consideration in the formula. They include each parent’s income, the amount of time they spend with their children, childcare costs, and the tax deductions that are available to either parent. This information is inserted into a child support calculator to determine the applicable amount to be paid.

Parents who have a 50/50 timeshare and make the same amount of money rarely have to pay extra child support outside of shared child care and healthcare costs.

Connection Between Child Support and Visitation

There is a direct connection between child support and visitation. It pertains to how much money a parent may be ordered to pay in support. In other words, the less time a parent spends with his/her children, the more child support he/she has to pay. On the contrary, the more time a parent spends with his/her children, the less child support he/she has to pay. As you can see, child support and visitation are directly  linked. For this reason, it is often practical to run the Guideline Support Calculations based on different visitation percentages. Report variations will show how a 60/40 shared custody affects child support as compared to a 70/30 or 50/50 arrangement.

Contact us if you need help obtaining custody, child support and visitation orders. We can look at your visitation schedule and give you an estimated support determination based on the California guideline support formula. We typically run three separate scenarios based on different visitation schedules. This allows you to compare and see how a particular visitation schedule affects California guideline support.Contact us at 800-747-2780 and discover how A People’s Choice can help you! 

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