Raising a child is no small feat. You have to make all the right decisions to ensure that your child reaches for the bright future ahead of them. This is why your child needs to get all the support they need. California state law ensures that parents care for their children by way of child support. In this article, we’ll give you a quick guide on how child support works in California. If you have any questions, it’s best to ask an experienced Orange County attorney to look at your case.
Child Support Overview
Child support refers to the money that the court orders a parent to pay the other in a monthly fashion as support for their child. California has guidelines for the computation of child support, accounting for the parents’ income as well as time spent with each parent.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Child support payments don’t last forever. The paying parent has to pay child support until the child:
- Is considered “emancipated,” meaning they assume adult responsibilities before reaching the age of majority;
- Gets married or enters into a domestic partnership.
- Turns 18 and is not a full-time high school student; or
- Turns 19.
There are exceptions to this. Some common ones are as follows:
- If a child is disabled or is otherwise unable to support themselves, the court may order that both parents support their child even into adulthood.
- The parents may agree to pay for child support for a time more than the requirement.
The details differ for each case. If you have any clarifications, get in touch with our experienced Orange County family law attorneys so you get the best legal advice for your child support concerns.
How is Child Support Determined?
As mentioned above, California outlines how child support is determined. However, it’s also possible for both the custodial parent and noncustodial parent to agree on how child support is carried about. We talk about both these paths below:
If Both Parents Agree
You don’t have to follow the guidelines if both parents agree on the amount of child support to be paid each month. The courts will approve the agreement without intervention if:
- Both parents know all their rights concerning child support.
- They agree to the amount willingly, that is without duress or coercion.
- The amount ordered will be adequate for the needs of the children.
- Neither party receives public assistance for the kids nor are there any pending applications for this.
- No change of circumstances is needed to modify the order to the guideline.
Even if the court does not intervene, it’s best to have a lawyer with you to protect your rights. Our Orange County attorneys at Trevino law, Inc. can provide aid to ensure that the child support agreement benefits you. Call our law office today!
If the Parents Cannot Agree
California calculates child support under Dissomater. This program computes child support based on two things:
- The time each parent has physical custody of their child. In other words, the time the parent spends with the kids.
- The actual current income of each party. However, if the court finds that one party has voluntarily reduced their income when it’s possible for them to be employed at a higher level, then the support will be based on their ability to earn.
The calculation of the child support payment can be complex. Here’s a breakdown of the other factors contributing to the amount of child support payment ordered:
- Costs of daycare and uninsured healthcare costs
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Mandatory union dues
- Health insurance expenses
- Monthly support received for children from other relationships
- Each parent’s tax filing status
- How many children the parents have together
- Amount of other income each parent receives
- Other factors
Child support guidelines also factor in the cost of special needs like educational expenses and travel expenses for the visitation.
If you need help calculating child support, get in touch with our Orange County family law office now! We’ll help you figure out how to calculate child support so you can have a better life for yourself and your child.
How to Get a Child Support Order
You can get a child support order through different legal processes such as:
- Legal Separation
- A domestic violence restraining order
You can also file a special petition for specific circumstances. Ask your local family law attorney how.
Here are some more things to note about getting a child support order:
If you’re receiving public assistance through TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), then the local Department of Child Support Services will start the child support case against the other parent.
If both parents agree on the child support amount, they can file a Stipulation and Order without needing a formal hearing for their case.
If you need legal help getting a child support order, our Orange County attorneys can help you.
Modification of Child Support
Many things can change over time. Given a change in your circumstances, you can ask to modify the child support order.
One reason to ask for a change in the child support order is if the amount of time you or the other parent spends with the kids, changes. Another reason could be that the income of the noncustodial parent increases significantly.
If you and the other parent agreed to set the child support below the amount in the guidelines, then you don’t need a change in your circumstances to ask for modification.
A change in your circumstances requires a change in the child support order, too. Contact our Orange County family law office today for help modifying your child support amount.
Collecting Child Support
You can get in touch with the local child support agency in your county for help with child support enforcement. It’s also possible for you to file support earning withholding order. This automatically deducts the required spousal support or child support payments from their monthly check
Your child deserves to have a comfortable life and achieve their dreams. Child support payments let you and your child lift yourselves and live life easier.
If you’re a resident of Orange County and need legal advice in the matters of family law, it’s best to talk to our attorneys at Treviño Law, Inc. Our attorneys are experienced in the issues of child support, custody, transmutation, or property division.
Call our Orange County family law office now for a free consultation!