Parents must financially support their children after divorce, and calculating child support is a key part of any separation. In California, many factors go into the analysis, including each parent's income and the number of children being supported. Timeshare is also one of the factors. It refers to the custody percentage, which is the amount to time your child spends with you. Generally, the parent who has less timeshare will end up shouldering more of the child support obligation.
There are many factors that are considered in order to determine how much child support a parent will be required to pay after a divorce. Child support payments are a critical part to the well-being of a child, making it very important to ensure that the amount calculated is determined by using accurate information. Typically, factors that are frequently crucial to a child support calculation includes income, financial assets, geographic location, and timeshare.
Timeshare is commonly known as a custody percentage, meaning it reflects the actual percentage of time a child is in the physical custody of each parent. Clearly, the calculation is very important as the more time a parent spends with their child, the less they will be required to pay in child support.
If you have a question about child support, reach out to our Los Angeles child support attorneys. We can answer any question that you have after a close review of your situation.
Calculating Timeshare Percentage
As mentioned above, your timeshare is the amount you spend with your child each month. The greater the amount of time, the greater your timeshare. Accurately calculating your timeshare is critical to properly estimating the amount of child support you will need to pay each month once your divorce is finalized.
In California, there are guidelines that will aid in determining a parent's custody percentage. These guidelines are listed in the Child Support Calculator and connected directly to the custody arrangement. The calculations are determined based on the amount of time a non-custodial parent spends with their child.
It is important to plan your custody arrangement, even breaking it down by hours, in order to make an accurate calculation of your custody percentage. Every additional hour you spend with your child, the more your timeshare.
For example, if you have custody of your child one weekend every month, your timeshare will be 6.58%. Your timeshare will increase to 9.86% if you have custody for an “extended” weekend every month. A typical weekend begins on Friday evening and ends on Sunday evening. An extended weekend, on the other hand, begins on Friday evening but ends on Monday morning. These extra few hours increase your custody percentage by more than 3%.
Consider the following: if you have your child stay with you for one day a week, then your timeshare is only about 3.29%. If you have the child for two days a month, then your percentage increases to 6.58%.
Pay particular attention to whether you get “extended” weekends. This is typically a three-day weekend, which can increase your timeshare percentage to roughly 9.87% per month. That one day a month increases your percentage by about 3%, which can increase the amount of child support that you pay.
Understanding Your Child Custody Arrangement
Few parents design a child custody schedule to minimize the amount of money that they pay. Instead, they strive to see their children as much as possible throughout the year, which can be difficult when parents do not live near each other.
Unless you live in the same town, then a child's own schedule can frustrate spending long periods of time together. It is not appropriate for a child to travel long distances to get to school, so non-custodial parents typically see their children on the weekend. Often, you can supplement weekend visits with extended time together during summer vacation, as well as during school vacation during the year.
Once you come up with a parenting plan, meet with a Los Angeles child support attorney to calculate the timeshare. Here are some possible child custody arrangements that we have seen:
- If your child spends every other weekend with you, then your timeshare percentage is 14.25%, and the other parent has a percentage of 85.75%.
- If you alternate weekends but also get an entire month in the summer, then your timeshare percentage will be around 21.36%. The other parent's will be around 78.64%.
Some parents try to divide the time 50/50 or as close as possible. Typically, the children live with one parent for three days before living with the other for four straight days, then the next week the first parent gets four straight days, etc. In this case, the non-custodial parent will have a timeshare percentage of 49.9%.
Other Factors Influencing Support
Timeshare alone does not determine support. A court will also look at the following:
- Each parent's annual gross income
- The number of dependents living with each parent
- Any child support being paid to other children
- Cost of health insurance premiums paid
- The number of children you have with the other parent
The state's mathematical formula was devised to make things uniform and take some of the guesswork out of determining child support. Also, judges' decisions will be more uniform across the state, which is fairer to all involved.
You can use different support calculators online to estimate your amount of support, but it is best to meet with a seasoned Los Angeles child support attorney to go over your unique situations. Sometimes, it is possible to increase or decrease the guideline amount arrived at by the mathematical formula, so discuss the details of your case with a legal advocate.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in Los Angeles
If you are in the midst of a divorce or legal separation you should meet with an attorney at Furman & Zavatsky to better understand your financial obligations. Many people are unprepared for the financial disruption that typically follows a divorce, often because they have not properly calculated their child support obligations. There should be no surprises, which can allow you to better plan for the future. We can assist you in designing a plan that will work for you and your family.
To meet with one of our Los Angeles child support attorneys, call 818-528-3471 or complete our online contact form. Our initial consultations are confidential and free.
Furman & Zavatsky
15821 Ventura Blvd #690
Encino, CA 91436