Child support can be extremely complex for lay individuals to understand. This is not in any way a commentary on individual intelligence, rather this speaks to the complex nature of the child support system in general. Normally, child support is when a non-custodial parent gives financial assistance to the custodial parent for the child. Although, there are child support cases where both parents pay. When the parents can come to an agreement about child support and what the payments will consist of, then the courts do not need to get involved. However, at times, court participation in child support is necessary to ensure that the child's needs are met.
In California, and in many other states, there is an entire website committed to not only explaining the child support process, but also to assisting individuals in navigating the process as well. Because of the various factors that go into determining child support and the child support guidelines that are in play, California provides people with a facilitator from the family law division that can give them the much needed guidance. Filing for child support is the first step to receiving the actual support. Once the filing is completed then it goes to the courts for finalization.
In deciding child support orders, first and foremost the courts look at what is in the best interest of the child. This is the standard that the courts are bound by and is the overriding standard in child support cases. Along with looking at the best interest of the child, the courts take into account the financial standing of the parties. The courts do not want to make it financially difficult for individuals ordered to pay support to pay which is why modifications of child support orders is always available.
Understanding child support and how it works is not easy but there are protocols in place to make it more user-friendly.