One of the biggest concerns for many parents is financially supporting their child post-divorce. The overwhelming changes to your life often lead to drastic, if temporary, changes in your ability to provide. This is an understandable concern, and often leads to tension.

Unfortunately, this can also mean that parents lose sight of the overarching goal of child support: to provide a stable lifestyle for your child.

Take yourself out of the equation

While these payments can feel very personal, and like your ex is trying to get back at you by denying you a fair agreement, the best thing you can do as a parent is take yourself emotionally out of the picture.

Child support orders are typically created in one of two ways: parents agree on the payment outside of the court system and then submit it for approval, or the court uses a set formula to determine an appropriate payment.

Regardless of whether you and your ex determine an appropriate payment through negotiation or through the state formula, remember that child support is not about passing judgement on you as a parent or for your past relationship; it is about giving your child the best opportunity to thrive.

What actually factors into child support

California state law tries to factor in many different parts of your financial situation, including how much money you and your ex make, the number of children in your home, ongoing medical care and health insurance costs, extracurricular activities and more.

When you sit down with an attorney, you have the chance to make the most of this formula and to tap into the unique circumstances that change your family’s needs.

Remember, child support orders aren’t forever

Your child may be very young, and it can seem like child support is a life sentence. But, as your child ages, there will be many opportunities to change and adjust your support order. Everything from starting school, a second marriage, a new job or adding to your family can be reason to change your order.

Most importantly, the well-being of your child should always be your first priority.