Child Support Overview
Child support can be a stressful, highly contested issue in divorce proceedings. While the California state legislature has passed laws to make child support calculations more uniform and fair by creating a “guideline” formula, parties often disagree over the terms of a child support order because the formula requires the input of various factors to determine the amount of support to be paid and sometimes these factors are difficult to determine.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support orders are issued by the family law court, which bases the amount of the order on state child support guidelines. These guidelines are based primarily on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of minor children who require support, as well as other relevant factors such as the needs of the child, including health insurance, education, daycare and special needs, each party’s tax filing status, and deductible interest and property taxes.
Purposes of the Guideline
There are two main purposes for the state child support guideline: to provide a minimum level of child support and to provide uniformity and fairness in the calculation of child support. To achieve these purposes, California state law requires courts to follow the guideline with deviations allowed only in specific and limited situations.
Obtaining Child Support
If you are recently separated and are not yet receiving child support, Moshtael Family Law can help you take the first steps. We can create a child support agreement with your co-parent outside the court setting through informal negotiations or mediation or help you obtain a child support order from a family law court.
Paying Child Support
If your child lives primarily with your co-parent, you will most likely be required to pay child support. Ignoring a child support order can result in serious, longterm consequences, so knowing what amount of child support to pay to your co-parent and how to submit it is important.
Modifying Child Support
Many times, people’s financial circumstances change. If you can’t afford to pay your child support order because of a change in your financial circumstances, we can help you obtain a modification.
There are many other reasons why a child support order might need to be modified, including: one parent has lost his or her job; one parent has been incarcerated; there have been significant changes in how much time the child spends with each parent; the child’s needs may have changed and there might be more or less costs for child care, health care, or education; and there have been changes in any of the factors that are used to calculate child support.
Child Support Enforcement
What happens if you don’t pay your court ordered child support? Trying to avoid child support by being paid under the table or hiding income and assets can seriously hurt you in the long run. Family law courts have a wide range of tools to enforce child support orders. Some of these tools include garnishing your wages, seizing your property, and revoking your driver’s license. You may also be unable to obtain a passport.
Hiring a Child Support Attorney
Child support is one of the most important aspects of any family law matter involving children. Once the Petition for Dissolution (divorce) or Legal Separation is filed, temporary child support issues can quickly arise. Our team of experienced family law attorneys can assess a fair and reasonable child support amount and advise you on the best way to handle your case. If you think we can be of service, please call us today at (714) 403-3701 to schedule a free consultation.