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Fathers facing divorce need an attorney who understands the legal obstacles facing men. From unfavorable child support laws to favoring mothers in custody disputes, fathers face unique challenges in California divorce. Sacramento divorce attorney Michael Benavides understands the legal obstacles facing men and believes that all fathers deserve aggressive representation in family court. As a divorce attorney Michael Benavides helps fathers secure marital settlements agreements and child support orders that protect the father’s economic interests while providing fair support for their children – not their ex. In addition, Michael Benavides represents clients in custody cases with a focus on securing the father’s parental rights.
California child support laws favor the stay-at-home parent over the sole-income-earner. In essence, California child support is calculated according to the Guideline formula which is heavily influenced by income and the percentage of parental custody. If the custody award gives the stay-at-home mother a greater percentage of custody, the income-earning father may face significant child support.
Read my article on Men’s Right To Child Support.
While child custody no longer explicitly favors mothers over fathers, the best interests of the child standard can result in more custody for stay-at-home mothers.
California family courts make custody determinations according to the best interests of the child. The standard looks to the child’s health, safety, and welfare; amount of contact with both parents; and the emotional bonds between the parent and child and how to best provide continuity of attention, nurturing and care. Attorneys for stay-at-home mothers may successfully argue that continuity of care and frequency of contact between the stay-at-home mother and child requires that the child’s best interest is for the mother to have a larger percentage of custody. If the court rules accordingly the father will pay more in child support than they otherwise would have with 50/50 or sole custody.
Why Does Child Support Exceed The Cost of Raising A Child?
Many fathers paying thousands of dollars per month on child support wonder why the cost of child support exceeds the cost of actually raising a child. The answer lies in the statutory policies underlying the algebraic formula for child support. According to statute, child support awards must adhere to the following principles:
- Each parent should pay for the child’s support according to their ability
- Child support may appropriately improve the standard of living of the custodial household, &
- it is assumed that the parent with custody contributes a significant portion of resources for the child’s support.
As a result, fathers with greater income can be ordered to pay child support that will improve the mother’s standard of living and it is assumed that she will contribute a significant portion of those resources to the child. Unfortunately for the wealthier parent, this principle as embodied in California’s Guideline child support calculation can result in child support awards that exceed the actual cost of raising a child.
Fathers Should Fight For Custody and Fair Child Support
Due to the significant influence custody can have on child support, and California’s tendency to award child support that exceeds the actual cost of raising a child, father’s may benefit from an investment in fighting for greater custody and lower child support. To help fathers learn more about their legal options divorce attorney Michael Benavides offers free consultations at his office. Call (916) 250-1610 to schedule your free consultation to learn more about your parental rights.