Do You Need Legal Help With Child Support? Contact Our Affordable Child Support Attorneys Los Angeles
Child Support in California
Child support orders are legally-binding mandates on how much the non-custodial parent must give in monthly financial support to the person taking care of their children. In California, there is a mandated way to calculate monthly child support payments.
If you need help putting a child support order in place or are having trouble collecting the support that you are entitled to, contact a family court attorney in Los Angeles to represent you.
There are three main issues in the area of child support that our attorneys for family issues have to deal with:
Our experienced attorneys have obtained favorable outcomes for our clients in all three categories.
Initial Determination of Child Support
The first step when one parent has sole custody and needs financial support from the other parent is the initial determination. The initial determination of the amount of child support can be done as a part of the dissolution of marriage or as a separate proceeding.
In California, determination of child support falls under the California Family Code, which provides guidelines but allows for the court to deviate from those guidelines under certain circumstances.
Ultimately, the responsibility to support the children lies with both parents, and the court attempts to determine an arrangement where both parents can provide a consistent standard of living for the children. In theory, this seems simple enough. In practice, child support determinations are much more complicated and oftentimes highly contested.
At the Law Offices of Nigel Burns, our attorneys are well versed in the family code and are experienced in handling litigated and negotiated child support determinations. We will work with you and keep you informed throughout the process and will fight adamantly for your rights and your children’s best interests.
Child Support Modification
People’s circumstances in life are constantly changing. There is no time when that is truer than during the years following a divorce proceeding. Further, people often underestimate the need to hire an experienced legal professional in the early stages of their divorce and end up with a child support order that is completely unfair. Either they are paying too much money or not receiving enough, and the order from the court simply does not accurately reflect the mutual responsibility of both parents to provide for the children.
The good news is that it is not too late. Just because the initial child support order was not fair or no longer accurately represents both parents’ current circumstances, does not mean that you are stuck with that order forever. Our Los Angeles child support attorneys are experienced in securing child support modifications and have consistently obtained favorable results for our clients in the past.
Child Support Collection
Determining the amount of child support to be paid does not mean that the battle is over. If your spouse has failed to pay their child support or if you are falsely accused of owing child support money, you need an experienced attorney in your corner fighting for your rights.
To resolve issues of child support, the legal system acts quickly to ensure parents or legal guardians have what they need to protect and financially support their children. Ultimately, a child support order is of no use to you or your children if your former partner does not abide by it.
At the Law Offices of Nigel Burns, we have consistently obtained favorable results for our clients in the past, both those who were owed money and those who were falsely accused. For additional information, you can refer to articles provided by our trusted family law attorneys in Los Angeles.
Payments are based on a certain criterion and take government aid into account for those that are expected to pay child support. It can also be based on stock, income levels per parent, social security, and pensions. Ideally, financial support is expected to cover essential costs like food, shelter, school-related costs. Whether a former spouse agrees with the restraining order, he or she is expected to comply with the terms. If not, choosing to avoid payments will result in severe consequences.
According to statistics, fathers are the ones paying child support 85% of the time, and it’s common for mothers to miss out on at least one payment during the course of the child’s support period. As the recipient of child support, if you find that payments are dwindling down or not being provided at all there are three additional options:
- Going back to court for a judge order
- Pursue automatic wage withholding
- Request federal and state intervention
Wage withholding, also known as wage garnishment, is when child support payment is removed from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck. It is court-ordered, meaning it cannot be evaded. In other cases, if the other parent does not have enough income, but happens to have assets, it can be seized. Property division can be considered for items that are considered valuable, such as cars, houses, and stock.
Property liens or property seizures are an additional method to seek child support if the expecting parent is not getting paid. It is best to advise a legal professional to understand the specifics involved in liens for unpaid child support. A file must be submitted to the county recorder’s office where the property is registered. Once placed, the custodial parent can sell the property or wait until it is refinanced and listed to acquire what is owed. If the property is not sold, a lien can remain until one of two conditions is met. The first circumstance is if the custodial parent agrees to remove the lien from the property. The second circumstance is when the child is no longer entitled to support, and you have paid all the amount outstanding.
Whether you are requesting child support, or are a non-custodial parent, we understand you may have immediate questions about the process. Though it is a common occurrence, these cases can be complex and complicated if you are going about it alone.
Different states have different rules as to how long payments should be made and how the agreement will be enforced. We answer seven frequently asked questions in this article. If you need additional guidance or would like to schedule a consultation, give one of our trusted lawyers a call.
How Long Am I Required to Pay Child Support?
California requires that the noncustodial parent supports the child financially until the age of 18. However, some states require parents to provide financial support past age 18 if the child is still in high school, attending college, or has special needs.
What if My Parental Rights Were Terminated?
Should you be in a situation where your parental rights were terminated by a court, your ex-spouse has no legal jurisdiction to force you to pay child support. If the court has terminated your parental rights or if you have voluntarily given up these rights, your legal financial obligations to the child end. However, you will still have to pay any child support that is past due, unless the court grants you a waiver.
Do Emancipated Children Get Child Support?
Emancipated children are not entitled to receive child support payments. To be considered emancipated, children must file a formal request with the court demonstrating their ability to live without parental or state-assisted financial support.
I Never Married My Child's Mother--Do I Still Owe Child Support?
Yes, the unmarried mother of your child, or baby mama, is still entitled to child support payments from you. However, it should be noted that child support payments are only required if you are the biological father. If you only dated someone with a child, you do not have to pay child support. Something our paternity lawyers can do is demand a paternity test to see if the child has your DNA. Contact our lawyers if you have further questions about paternity tests and child support!