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Experienced Child Support Attorneys In Los Angeles, California
At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our Los Angeles family law attorney knows that in situations where one parent is the sole guardian, when parents were never married, or are divorced, one parent may be ordered to make a monthly financial payment to help cover the cost of the minor child.
In California, and elsewhere throughout the nation, this payment is based on child custody decisions outlined by the parents, mediation, or the courts as a key facet of family law known as child support.
These payments are meant to cover key expenses for children, including those related to clothing, food, and shelter until the child turns 18. However, child support payments can also include funds to cover additional costs, such as those related to education — private school, tutors, and extracurricular activities, to name a few — as well as travel expenses to cover transporting the child between parents.
Whether you are a single parent who is seeking financial support from the other parent or are worried about your children’s well-being during a divorce, our Los Angeles child support attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, so you can make informed decisions about your case.
WHO RECEIVES CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS IN CALIFORNIA?
Our child support attorney explains to each of our clients that the parent who is given custody of the child(ren) is the one who may be entitled to child support payments from the other parent.
Typically, that means the parent that spends the most amount of time with the child — often referred to as a custodial parent — is the one who receives child support payments. These payments are designed to put the children’s best interests first and allow them to maintain the same type of support of a two-parent home.
Although it is typically the non-custodial parent who makes child support payments, the California family courts may order both parents to make support payments. Our skilled child support lawyer in Los Angeles can help you understand your children’s overall financial needs, based on the custody decisions, and how they apply to your unique circumstances.
This is true no matter which side of the courtroom you are on. Whether you are the one who will be expected to pay child support, or are the one who is seeking financial support, our child support lawyers will help you understand what you are entitled to based on multiple factors the courts will consider when making the award decision.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED IN CALIFORNIA?
Our Los Angeles child support lawyers will help you understand each factor the court will consider when determining a child support amount — even if you and the parent can establish a figure on your own, without the court’s involvement.
The state of California has established child support guidelines, and a calculator that allows parents to estimate payment amounts. This approach examines multiple factors that outline both the needs of the children and one or both parents’ ability to pay.
Those factors include, but are not limited to:
- The number of children in need of support payments.
- The existing time-sharing arrangement.
- Both parents’ incomes.
- Current child support obligations for children from previous relationships.
- Health insurance expenses for the child.
- Any mandatory financial contributions by the parents.
- Job-related expenses.
- Tax liabilities for both parents.
- Other relevant costs.
Relevant costs can include those related to healthcare, including vision and dental, as well as childcare costs necessary to advance the parents’ education, employment, or training.
Although child support payments are typically established and ordered by a judge once child custody decisions are made, it is possible for parents to come to a support agreement without an official court order.
Our child support attorney in Los Angeles can help you determine the overall financial obligations that are required to put your children’s best interests first, just as the California family courts would.
HOW CAN CALIFORNIA PARENTS MAKE CHILD SUPPORT DECISIONS WITHOUT THE COURT’S INVOLVEMENT?
At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our child support lawyers in Los Angeles explain to our clients that their financial obligations to their kids begin with their or the court’s child custody decisions.
When parents decide to end their relationships, whether they are married or not, child custody decisions must be made in private, in mediation sessions, or during litigation inside the courtroom.
Parents have the right to determine child custody in private, and the same is true for child support. If you and your child’s other parent can determine a payment amount together, without the court’s involvement, we can help outline an agreement that reflects your decisions, so they are legally binding.
If you cannot negotiate the terms of your child custody and child support in private, the California family courts require you and the other parent to attend mediation before your custody case will be heard inside the courtroom. This is a good opportunity to keep your decisions private and to establish a parenting plan and financial support agreement that fits your children’s needs.
If you are unsuccessful in developing a parenting plan in private, or during mediation, our Los Angeles child support attorneys can establish your overall child custody and child support needs during litigation inside the courtroom, so you can fight for what is important to you.
CAN A CALIFORNIA CHILD SUPPORT ORDER BE MODIFIED?
Even if a California child support order is already in place, it does not necessarily mean that it is set in stone until the children turn 18. In certain Los Angeles child support cases, including those where the ordered support falls below the legal guidelines, a parent may petition for a modification to increase the payment amount.
A modification may also be granted in Los Angeles child support cases where there is a notable change in the timesharing or financial circumstances for one parent.
For example, if one parent was given the larger share of custody, and the other parent sees the children during agreed-upon visitation days — like certain weekdays, weekends, and/or holidays — the visiting parent is typically ordered to pay substantial child support to the parent who maintains custody.
However, if there is a significant shift in the amount of time both parents spend with the children, and the parent with visitation rights is now splitting the timeshare, he or she may petition the court to lower the payment amount to reflect their updated timeshare role.
It is also possible to petition for a child support modification in the event of unemployment, medical issues, injuries, or in situations where they are newly required to support another child.
If you or someone you love are dealing with child support issues in California, including establishing, modifying, or enforcing a support order, it is in your best interest to enlist the legal guidance of a skilled child support attorney in Los Angeles to outline your legal rights and options, so you understand your financial obligations from the start.
We can help. Contact our child support lawyer today to discuss your children’s unique financial needs.
AT WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, OUR FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN LOS ANGELES, CA FOCUSES ON THE FOLLOWING PRACTICE AREAS:
- Child Custody
- Spousal Support
- Domestic Violence
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Same Sex Prenuptial Agreement
CONTACT OUR CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEYS IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA TODAY TO SCHEDULE AN INITIAL CONSULTATION
In Los Angeles and other communities across Southern California, Los Angeles child support attorneys at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC serves as a leading resource for those dealing with family law-related matters, including those involving child support orders. Whether you are working towards an agreement or dealing with a modification or enforcement issue, our legal team of dedicated Los Angeles child support attorneys can provide the advice and guidance you need.
Our Los Angeles family law attorneys understand that family-related matters at deeply personal, and extremely sensitive, which can increase the stress and anxiety that surround the decision-making process. Let us collaborate with you to ensure that your family’s needs and interests are protected. To schedule a preliminary consultation to evaluate your case, call our Los Angeles child support lawyers at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC at (310) 552-3505.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR OUR LOS ANGELES CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEYS
Why Was There a Sudden Increase in My California Child Support Payments?
Starting January 1, 2022, if you receive cash assistance for your child or children through the CalWORKs program, the amount of the current month’s child support payment that is “passed through” to you may change from $50 up to $100 if you have one child, and up to $200 if you have two or more children living in the home. This is because the law that covers this “pass-through” has permanently changed.
Does the New “Pass Through” Change Impact the Other Parent’s California Child Support Payments?
No. The law’s change does not mean that the parent is ordered to pay additional child support in California. The law changed to let families have more money while the government keeps less for reimbursement benefits. This change also does not impact your cash assistance through the CalWORKs program.
What Happens if the Other Parent Stops Paying Child Support in California?
If your child’s other parent stops paying court-ordered child support payments, you may take him or her to court to enforce the ruling. Contact our skilled Los Angeles child custody attorney today to learn more about the different ways we can pursue the financial support you are entitled to through wage garnishments or other legal means that will get him or her up to date.
Can I Withhold Visitation if the Other Parent Stops Paying Child Support in California?
No. If there is a court-ordered child custody agreement, you must allow the children to visit their other parent, even if he or she is not up to date on child support payments, or you may be held in contempt of court.
Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support if I Have 50/50 Custody?
If you make more money than the other parent, you may still have to pay some child support or share costs such as employment-related childcare or uninsured medical costs.
Will the California Family Court Consider That I Have Other Children to Support When Ruling on My Case?
The California family court can give the paying parent credit for other child support orders they are actually paying and for other children in the home that he or she supports. The court usually does not give credit for stepchildren or grandchildren.
What if My Employer Threatens to Fire Me Because of a Wage Garnishment?
California employers cannot discriminate, retaliate, or fire an employee because of the existence of a wage garnishment, no matter what it is for. It is illegal to do so.
Do I Have to Pay Interest on Outstanding Child Support?
All local child support agencies must charge interest on all back child support. The money paid will be applied to current child support first and back child support next. Interest is usually the last charge to be calculated by the agency.
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