March 24, 2017, In Family Law
In 1998, Willie Shorter had a DNA test to determine paternity on his young child. The lab conducting the test returned results that, with a 99.8 percent certainty, Shorter was not the child’s biological father.
Nearly two decades later, Shorter says he is still being forced to pay child support for the child, despite the fact that DNA established another man as the child’s biological father. Shorter did not raise the child, now roughly 22 years old.
According to records, he has paid an estimated $5,000 to the state and owes another $5,000. Because he suffers from severe heart problems, placing him on disability, the remaining debt is being taken from his Social Security check, he says.
When he took his case to a local Legal Aid office in 2016, he was told that current state law prohibited any contesting of paternity after the child is 18 years old or older. Because the child is older, state law indicates that it is too late to file any legal action to alter the order.
Child Support in California
Depending on the state you reside in, there may be different laws on the books for family-related matters, including establishing child support, or a financial payment to help cover the costs of raising a minor child.
When two people who are not together or are divorced share a child, child support in Los Angeles may be ordered to help cover critical expenses for the child, including those pertaining to food, clothing, and shelter. These payments can also cover additional expenses, such as those related to travel or education.
Generally, the parent that spends the majority of time with the child, or the custodial parent, is the parent receiving support payments. Because existing law assumes that the custodial parent spends money directly on expenses for the child, a court will typically order support orders be paid to them. However, there are cases where a court may determine that both parents should make support payments.
In the state of California, there are established guidelines – a calculator, so to speak – that examine a variety of factors before establishing child support. In addition to the incomes of both parents, the state will also take into account:
- Any existing time-sharing arrangement
- The number of children needing support payments
- Tax liability for both parents
- Health insurance expenditures for the children
- Whether or not a parent is under an existing support order from a previous relationship
- Job-related expenses
- Mandatory financial contributions by the parents
Finding a Qualified Attorney
Are you or someone you know dealing with a family law-related matter, like those involving child support? If so, it is in your best interest to seek the guidance of a family law attorney as soon as possible. Only a legal professional qualified in this area of law can review your case and existing laws to determine the best possible strategy.
In Southern California, the legal team at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC has the experience you are looking for when dealing with delicate family law matters like divorce and child support. Our firm specializes exclusively in this legal arena and can handle your case with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. Whether you are looking to establish a support agreement or dealing with an enforcement or modification issue, our Los Angeles child support attorneys can provide the guidance and support you need.
We know that dealing with these types of cases can be sensitive and stressful, but our Los Angeles family law attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you and your family’s rights are protected. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with our firm, call us today at (310) 552-3505.