While celebrity divorce cases and custody battles might capture the attention of California residents at times, the challenge of facing these issues in one's own life could be overwhelming, demanding complete attention. An ex-spouse who is awarded primary custody and child support payments might find it challenging to make ends meet, but in many cases, the party owing support will complain that the support obligation is excessive. This can occur in celebrity and high-asset situations, but it is also possible in cases involving those of limited means.
California uses both parents' income in determining support payments. The number of children involved can also be considered in computing this obligation. In unique cases such as those involving individuals with substantial assets and income, there may be consideration given to the lifestyle that would be afforded a child living with both parents. At the same time, it is difficult to moderate the manner in which child support is used.
The system can be troubling to those who are faced with large support obligations, especially in the face of a job loss or other major life change. Adjustments to one's support obligations typically require going back to court to obtain a modification. A job loss that occurs unexpectedly could cause an individual to quickly fall into arrears before being able to have the matter considered by a judge. Many states are financially motivated by federal funding that is connected to successful collection of child support obligations, which could lead to aggressive action with an individual who is behind on payments.
An individual expecting to owe child support after going through divorce might find it helpful to investigate collection options and accountability solutions that allow flexibility for dealing with changing financial situations. An individual employed in a seasonal career or another profession that is subject to quick changes in stability might benefit from exploring such issues with their lawyer.