As most people know, child support is a designated amount of money that one or both parents pays each month to support a child and to take care of related living expenses. When a couple divorces, separates or annuls a marriage, either parent may ask a judge to render a child support order. In San Diego and throughout California, there are guidelines that a court will look to when determining the amount of money to award. But this area of family law is not without its own nuances, and any parent who is seeking support or ultimately paying support for their children is encouraged to contact a local family law attorney with experience handling such cases.
In a widely publicized child custody and support case involving the famous actor, Jon Cryer, news reports say that his ex-wife, Sarah Trigger, is asking a judge to increase her child support payments from $8,000 to an exorbitant $89,000 a month. When the "Two and a Half Men" actor and his former wife divorced in 2004, the court allocated custody between the parents by awarding Trigger with 65 percent custody and $10,000 per month in child support. Trigger says she is seeking the additional support, claiming her son is humiliated that he does not have the lavish lifestyle that his fellow students have because she cannot afford it. Although he attends an expensive private school, his mother says that her son's fellow students have extravagant parties, expensive vacations, and fancy summer camps, all things she cannot provide.
At some point, Trigger's support payments were reduced to $8,000 per month at a time when Cryer essentially had full custody of the boy. According to Trigger's attorney, the two are now sharing custody 50-50, and she is seeking an increase in support payments. In California, there is a statewide formula (also known as a "guideline") for determining how much child support should be paid. In an ideal situation, the parents agree to the amount. But in many divorce cases, the parents do not come to a mutually satisfactory amount for child support. In those cases, the judge will use the guideline formula to decide the amount of child support.