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In addition to the basic child support guideline amount, a parent can be ordered to contribute to specified expenses that are for the benefit of the children. Family Code §4062 lists two types of child support add-ons:
- Mandatory add-ons: The judge is required to order a contribution to the following as additional child support: (1) child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills; and (2) the reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.
- Discretionary add-ons: The judge can also order a parent to contribute to: (1) costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children; and (2) travel expenses for visitation (this appears to refer only to travel expenses incurred by the custodial parent).
If the judge orders any child support add-ons, such expenses are to be equally shared by the parents. However, where an equal allocation of these expenses is not reasonable, the court is authorized to allocate them between the parents in proportion to their net spendable incomes. Family Code §4061(b) provides that the following three-step procedure is to be followed to determine the parents’ respective net spendable incomes for purposes of allocating the child support add-ons:
- First, the guideline child support amount is to be calculated.
- Second, the amount of guideline child support is to be deducted from the income of the paying parent but not added to the income of the receiving parent.
- Third, if one parent is paying spousal support to the other parent, the amount of spousal support is to be deducted from the income of the paying parent and added to the income of the receiving parent. See: http://www.divorcenet.com/states/california/california_child_support_guidelines
Court ordered child support usually ends when one of the following happens:
- The child marries or registers a domestic partnership
- The child dies
- The child is emancipated (which means the child either obtained a court order that the child is able to live independently, or the child lives outside the home and provides necessary support for himself or herself)
- The child turns 18 and is not a full-time high school student; or
- The child turns 19
The first of the above events to occur triggers the end of child support obligation. However, if the child suffers from a disability that prevents him or her from supporting himself or herself, the court can order that both parents are required to continue to support the disabled adult child, regardless of the fact that the child may be over the age of 18.
In addition to the basic child support, parents must share equally in the cost of child care that is necessary for employment, and also any uninsured medical, dental, vision, orthodontia and psychological expenses of the children. If one parent earns substantially more than the other, the cost of child care may be divided unequally, to reflect the ratio of their incomes.
Parents can agree to support the child longer, but they are not required to do so (again, unless ordered by the court to support a disabled adult child). The parent who had been paying child support generally is not required to pay for a college education or college expenses for the child, regardless of that parent’s income. http://www.sacramento-divorce-lawyer.com/when-does-child-support-end-in-california/
So, if there is NOT tutoring available through the minor's school or the school district, both parties may be ordered to pay for the tutoring as a discretionary "add on." If the language for payment of tuition is NOT included in the final divorce decree, then a party must bring a Motion for Discretionary Add-On for Tutoring. The judge will then hear the motion and decide what how much of the tutoring each party must pay. If tutoring is an issue, you should make sure it is addressed in the final divorce decree.
If the minor child has significant emotional issues, if those are NOT covered by the insurance of either, or both parties, then depending upon the emotional issues (eg. a diagnosis from a psychiatrist regarding the emotional issue, then such medical costs MAY be considered as a mandatory add on. Each party would have to pay a share of any uninsured medical expenses related to the emotional issue.
Your spouse should NOT write a check to you for any portion of uninsured expenses that are attributed to her. You are entitled to obtain medical bills for your minor child. If the expenses are NOT covered by insurance, you should each pay the physician, lab, etc. your percentage of the uninsured expenses and your soon to be ex should pay her portion. That language should also be included in the final divorce decree. Your insurance companies will dictate when insurance coverage ends for the minor child. That information should be included in the final divorce decree.
Finally, there DEFINITELY needs to be a provision that provides for when child support ends. There are occasions when parties do NOT place such a provision in their final decree. In that case, a party must bring a Motion in court to terminate the child support. It is MUCH less expensive to include a termination provision into the decree.
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