Do I Have To Pay Child Support Before Divorce?

Do I Have To Pay Child Support Before Divorce?

by Feb 12, 2020Child Support

One of the most common misconceptions about divorce and child support is that the two are directly linked in some way. To be perfectly clear: If you have a child, you are required to support your child regardless of your marital status.

The confusion around this topic largely stems from the fact that most parents don’t think about child support until they start thinking about getting divorced.

When Does Child Support Start?

If you and your spouse have separated, but not filed for divorce, it doesn’t forbid either of you from requesting child support. Who has to pay will depend on a variety of factors, but not being divorced yet is not part of the equation.

Keep in mind that, if granted, child support is typically not retroactive to the date of separation. In other words, the earlier you or your ex files for child support, the sooner the payments will be required.

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How Much Will I Have To Pay?

In California, the amount of child support you or your ex will have to pay is determined by a formula known as the child support calculator.

In addition to income, the other significant factors determining the amount of child support you or your ex will have to pay are custody and visitation rights. If you and your ex have not agreed on custody and visitation already, those issues will need to be addressed before a court can determine how much child support to award either of you.

Do I Need A Lawyer For This?

Even if you and your ex don’t plan on filing for divorce in the immediate future, any agreement you come to regarding child support should be reviewed by an attorney.

If you can’t come to an agreement about child support with your ex, you should absolutely contact an attorney to help ensure that what you pay or receive is the appropriate amount. Here at Vonder Haar Law, we have extensive experience helping parents negotiate child support, child custody, and alimony agreements. Please call our office today for a free consultation.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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