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L.A. Lakers star Steve Nash fighting child support payments

Raising children is not an easy task. Aside from the basic tasks of providing food, housing and keeping young ones safe from harm, parents are also expected to implement parenting methods to better increase their children's odds of a successful future. There are various parenting methods pushed by professionals, each with a loyal following. From the strict "tiger mom" style to more relaxed parenting methods, finding the right technique for your children often requires a balance of multiple methods. Determining which balance is best for each child is difficult for any couple, but it can be particularly difficult for divorced parents.

Regardless of the child custody arrangement, divorced parents face a difficult situation: raising children with an ex.

These difficulties were recently highlighted when Los Angeles Lakers star Steve Nash made headlines for disagreeing with his estranged wife's parenting style. The basketball star reportedly refused to make child support payments. Instead of attempting to avoid financially supporting his children, Nash argues that he is trying to ensure his children stay grounded. He stated that he is concerned that if he makes these payments his children will be spoiled and that his estranged wife will "damage the kids with crazy luxuries," according to a recent article in the Huffington Post.

Child support laws in California

California state law requires that both parents provide for the well-being of their children, including financially providing for their care. In some cases, this requires court ordered support payments.

In order to receive support payments, a parent must first file an order with the court requesting child support. This can apply in many cases, including divorce, separation and instances where a restraining order is in place due to domestic violence. Child support payments are also available for unmarried parents, but the court often requires completion of a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship, or paternity, before ordering support payments.

The amount of support provided is based on a statewide formula. This formula is used when parents cannot develop an agreement on their own. If used, the calculation takes into consideration many factors, including:

  • The amount of money earned by each parent
  • The number of children present
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child or children
  • Healthcare and childcare costs

In some instances, parents can deviate from this formula. If the judge finds the parents are fully aware of their rights, aware of the proposed child support amount and agree that the deviated amount would meet their needs the judge may agree to a different amount.

Putting together a child support agreement is complex. This document must address how childcare expenses, healthcare costs, fees related to education and any other expenses related to raising children will be handled. Those putting together a request for child support can benefit from the use of an attorney. An experienced California child support guidelines attorney can provide assistance gathering the evidence needed to make a child support determination that is calculated in your favor and in the best interest of your children.

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