Establishing and/or Modifying Child Support
For parents, understanding their rights and obligations in child support matters can be difficult. When parents divorce or are unmarried, a child has the right to be supported by both parents. Additionally, the child has the right to maintain the same station in life as each of his/her parents.
The California legislature has created an entire body of law within the Family Code which lays out how child support is determined. Initially, determining guideline child support is based upon a math formula. Guideline child support is presumed to be in the best interests of the child(ren). However, hiring a family law attorney who knows when hiring guideline child support is inappropriate and unjust is important, as not all cases warrant applying guideline child support.
More importantly, things like healthcare, daycare and extracurricular activities or special needs of a child need to be factored in at times when setting child support. Some of these items may be considered mandatory add on’s and other’s discretionary add on’s. Ensuring you have counsel to understand what the difference in these are and when either or both may be appropriate will ensure you are obtaining not only the correct amount of support if you are the payee but support that is sustainable if you are the payor.
Enforcement of Child Support
Child support may be enforced by the Court in a number of ways including, but not limited to, wage garnishments, interception of tax returns, suspension of driver’s license, revoking or precluding the obtaining of a passport, levying on bank accounts, incarceration for contempt of court, fines, invoking the right to interest on unpaid arrears as well as other remedies.
California child support laws and procedures are very complicated and should not be handled without consulting an attorney first. Therefore it is imperative that you consult an experienced family law attorney before making any decisions regarding your divorce matters.