Archive for the ‘ Child Support ’ Category

FAQS About Child Support in California

Posted on: July 19, 2017 by in Child Support
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If you are getting a divorce in the state of California, if you are expecting to divorce, or if you are already divorced but dealing with a custody, visitation, child support, or alimony dispute, you must have an experienced California family law attorney advocating aggressively on your behalf and making certain that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. For divorcing parents, nothing is more important than your children, their well-being, and their future.

Often, when parents get divorced, one of the most divisive issues is child support. When a California judge orders a parent to pay child support, the order is not intended as a penalty or as a punishment but rather as a simple recognition of that parent’s legal responsibility.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about child support in California. The answers, however, can only be general answers because every family and every case is different. That is one reason why every parent who becomes involved in a California child support dispute must have the help and insights of an experienced family law attorney.

Q: What is the legal definition of child support?

A: Under California law, child support is the payment that a parent makes to help cover a child’s living expenses. All parents are obligated by law to contribute financially to the care of their children, and after a divorce in California, both parents are still equally legally obligated. California courts typically order the non-custodial parent to make ongoing child support payments to the custodial parent after a divorce.

Child support is paid in California until a child is 18 years old and may continue past age 18 if both parents agree, if the child still attends high school (until the child’s 19th birthday), or if the child is mentally or physically disabled.

Q: How are child support payment amounts determined in this state?

A: California lawmakers have established statutory guidelines to help judges decide what amount of child support a non-custodial parent should be obligated to pay. The guidelines spell out a complex child support formula or “calculator” based on the income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

If you expect to be involved in a child support dispute, you will need tax returns, paycheck stubs, 1099s or W2s, and any other documents that provide personal financial information. An experienced Cerritos family law attorney can make certain that you are paying or receiving a just and proper amount of child support.

Q: Can the guidelines be overlooked if a non-custodial parent faces financial hardship?

A: The court may approve a hardship deduction if the parent who pays child support has unexpected medical costs, uninsured catastrophic losses, or becomes the parent of another child – naturally or through adoption – from another relationship. In these kinds of circumstances, the courts have wide discretion, and a judge may or may not decide to approve a request for a hardship deduction.

Q: What if the parent who pays child support passes away before the child turns 18?

A: A recent ruling by California’s Fifth District Court of Appeals makes it clear, in the court’s words, “that a child support obligation survives the death of the supporting parent and is a charge against his or her estate. In addition to being a charge against a supporting parent’s estate, court-ordered child support becomes a charge against that parent’s living trust, when his or her assets are in such trust rather than in an estate.” Sometimes, life insurance may be part of a child support agreement, and in some cases, a California judge may order a parent to buy and maintain a life insurance policy which names the children and the other parent as beneficiaries.

Q: What if a child support order needs to be changed?

A: Over time, circumstances and finances may change for one or both of the parents, and the first child support order may have to be modified. A modification of the child support order may be justified by unemployment or a change of jobs; by illness, injury, or disability; by a move to another state or even another nation; by a new child with a new partner; or by a criminal conviction and/or a jail or prison sentence.

If the parent who pays child support becomes unemployed, for example, he or she cannot simply stop making child support payments. That parent must request a modification of the child support order from the court. In southern California, if you need to have a child support order modified – or if you need to dispute your spouse’s request for a child support modification – have an experienced Cerritos family law attorney handle the matter on your behalf.

Q: What can happen if a parent who is ordered to pay child support fails to pay?

A: If a California court has ordered your ex to pay child support that you are not receiving, a good family lawyer can help you to take legal action. The tools that a California court can use to compel child support payments include wage garnishments, interception of tax refunds, levies on bank accounts, and charging the delinquent parent with contempt of court.

Parents who seek the enforcement of child support orders should clearly understand that if the delinquent parent is jailed, unless that delinquent parent has other income or assets such as a car or a house, it may be impossible to collect any child support while that parent is in custody.

When a child receives child support funds through a state agency, that agency can file a lawsuit to compel a parent to make payments. If you are sued for child support by a state of California child support agency, obtain legal counsel at once.

You must respond within thirty days. An experienced and trustworthy Cerritos family law attorney can help a parent on either side of any child support dispute in southern California.

Q: How can child support disputes be avoided?

A: The best way to avoid the acrimony and the cost – in both time and money – that are inevitably involved in a child support dispute is for both parents to have a cooperative attitude and a willingness to compromise from the beginning. California courts always decide these cases based upon what the courts consider “the best interests of the child,” but when the parents can reach a mutual agreement regarding child support payments, a California court will almost always accept and “sign off” on that agreement. A good family lawyer can help parents come to an agreement that the court will approve.

How to Calculate Child Support in California?

Posted on: October 2, 2015 by in Child Support
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In California, there are pre-existing guidelines that help determine child support. If however, in spite of adhering to these guidelines, you are unable to determine youngster assist payments, it is best to defer the decision to a judge.

Overall, the following factors are taken into consideration for the calculation of child support.

• The income of the parents- this can include not just income from wages, and business profits, but also income from Social Security benefits, worker’s compensation benefits, and other types of state benefits.
• The number of children the youngster asssit payments must cover
• The tax status of the parents
• Whether the parent is already financially responsible for children from other relationships
• The cost of health insurance premiums
• Mandatory expenses, like mandatory retirement payments, for union dues
• Cost of taking care of the children, like daycare costs, and healthcare costs

These are just some of the factors that may be taken into consideration, while determining child assist payments in your case. If you still have questions about youngster assist payments that the court may order you to make, or the child support payments that you may be eligible for, speak to a Los Angeles family lawyer. It’s important to protect your child’s right to support by speaking to a Los Angeles family lawyer and seeking expert legal guidance.

Reasons That Might Call for a Modification of Child Support Order

Posted on: September 30, 2015 by in Child Support, Family Law
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When the parents’ financial situation changes, there may be the need for modification of the child support order. One or both of the parents may need a modification in the youngster custody order, and this is a process that must go through the court.

Remember, that if the judge in your situation ordered youngster support that was much below the guideline amount, then you do not have to present any evidence of a change in your circumstances to ask for a child custody modification. However, in other cases, you are required to present evidence of a change in your financial circumstances or the circumstances of the other partner in order to get a modification. Speak to a Los Angeles family lawyer about how you can modify your youngster custody order.

For instance, you may wish to ask for a modification based on a change in your income, or your spouse’s income, or both. If a spouse has lost his job, or has recently had another youngster from another relationship, or has been incarcerated, he may wish to ask for modification of the child support order that will result in a lower child support payment.

The court will also consider evidence of changes in the amount of time that the child spends with each parent. Additionally, the court may also consider a need for increased youngster support due to increased childcare costs, including increase in the cost of daycare, health care premiums, or other costs. Talk to a Los Angeles family lawyer for help modifying a child support order.

What You Need to Know about Child Support Modifications

Posted on: September 28, 2015 by in Child Support, Family Law
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It’s important to speak with a lawyer, and understand how your request for child support could actually affect your child support payments. Remember, the youngster support payments are calculated, not based on your need for the modification, but based on an existing child assist calculator. These guidelines are taken into account by the court, and the result of the modification request may not be exactly what you expected.

Say, for instance, you go to court to ask for a modification of the child support order, because you recently lost your job. You expect that the court will order lowered youngster support payments in your case. However, the court may also take into consideration the fact that your ex-partner has lost a job or suffered a financial disaster during the same period of time. Therefore, the tribunal could actually decide to increase your youngster assist payments. If you were expecting a decrease, this new decision could leave you financially distressed.

It’s therefore important to speak with a Los Angeles family lawyer, and determine how a court will apply the existing youngster assist guidelines to your case to make a decision. Use the existing calculator to recalculate how the court will possibly make a decision in your modification case. Talk to a lawyer for help.

How is Child Support Calculated in California?

Posted on: June 17, 2015 by in Child Support
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In California, youngster assist payments are calculated based on a number of factors. The two main factors are parental income, and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. Child assist payments may also vary depending on the specific medical needs of the youngster and parental expenses, including mortgage payments, tax deductions, payroll deductions, insurance costs and other expenses.

In California, the courts will use these preset guidelines to determine youngster assist. However, if you believe that you require additional youngster support for any reason, it’s important to work together with an attorney to make sure that your rights are protected. A Los Angeles child support attorney will negotiate to ensure that you receive a payment that is fair to you.

In California, the judge may determine child support payments based on a predetermined calculator, and if the judge is required to deviate from the set guidelines, he will need solid proof of the reason why it is necessary. In other words, if you want additional youngster assist, then you must be able to convince a judge that there is a need for this. For example, if the child has special needs, or if one parent has an extraordinarily higher income than the other parent, then a judge may decide that changes in the support are warranted.

For help determining youngster assist payments in your case, speak to a Los Angeles youngster  support attorney.