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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102143
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Never married, we broke up, 8 year old daughter, both parents

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Never married, we broke up, 8 year old daughter, both parents reside in California, we verbally agreed to 50/50 custody and myself(dad) agreed to pay medical of the child plus support verbally, due to loss of job I am unable to pay support but able to pay medical. Can the ex have a case to request support due to 50/50 custody if it end up in mediation, what is decision based on?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation.

Please understand that a verbal agreement is no binding when it comes to custody or child support. Only a Court order signed by a Judge can bind someone to this. Ergo, so far the parties have been acting out of faith in their agreement, but at any time, either party can renege on it.

Can the ex have a case to request support due to 50/50 custody if it end up in mediation, what is decision based on?

Not simply based on this. Now, again, the agreement you currently have is voluntary. It is not enforceable. Either party can attempt to keep the child and/or not pay child support. Either party may also go to Court to actually set proper child support and custody orders down, which would be enforceable.

The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." In re Stephanie M., 867 P. 2d 706 - Cal: Supreme Court 1994. It does not have anything to do with who has paid what (informal) child support, or not. The factors the Judge considers include, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.

One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.

Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation may be granted by the Court.

Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.

The visiting parent pays child support to the custodian, unless the custodian declines it. See here. But this can be altered if both parties agree to a lesser or higher amount or do not put child support in the orders all-together; the Court will only impose default child support if the parties cannot agree.

If it is decided to go to Court, then it is best to use counsel. May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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