KEEPING THE FOCUS WHERE IT BELONGS
Child support payments sometimes become one more issue couples dispute over during a divorce, unfortunately. However, it is crucial that the child receives adequate financial support, regardless of the parents’ feelings about each other. At E&L, LLP, we support our clients focus on the fact that child support is the right of the child, not the parents. Further, we represent individuals who are determining or modifying child support orders.
CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT
California child support is guided by guidelines based on several factors that include:
- The income of each parent
- The number of children
- The number of overnight visits each parent has with the children
In addition, parents who are separating or going through a divorce must determine how much each will pay for health insurance, other medical expenses, child care expenses and any extracurricular or recreational activities.
An experienced Beverly Hills Family Law firm can help clients gather the accurate financial, tax, child care and health care information to calculate child support payments. However, although the court Commissioner or Family Law Judge has the final authority to determine the amount of a child support order, and any estimates before is not a guarantee of the amount of child support that will be ordered, having the correct information and legal representation can help ensure that clients pay or receive the right amount of support.
MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT
If the financial circumstances of a parent change or the needs of the child change, individuals may request a modification of their child support order. At E&L, LLP, we represent parents seeking or contesting child support modification, or otherwise assist in enforcement of court-ordered child support.
Contact us to schedule an appointment for your free consultation, or contact us online, regarding your family law matter, and determine how we may be able to assist you.
CHILD SUPPORT: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
HOW MUCH CHILD SUPPORT SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY, OR RECEIVE?
Child support is based on a calculated formula using a computer software, called a “Dissomaster.” The Dissomaster is employed by all Courts across California. Child support will vary in each case depending on each spouse (or partner’s) gross monthly income, the timeshare of visitation of each parent, and a few other criteria. Commonly, the Courts will consider the tax filing status of each parent, and deductions that are pre-approved by the Legislatures. These deductions are in the form of health insurance premiums, deductible interest expense, real property taxes, and spousal and child support paid from other relationships, as a few examples. Contact our firm to determine how we may be able to assist in you in either calculating, or defending, a child support case, and allow us to represent your interests.
I HAVE A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER, BUT THE OTHER PARENT IS NEVER ON TIME. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
One option that you have to ensure that your child support is paid on time is to attain a child support wage garnishment, or an Income Withholding Order. These documents are created and served onto the partner’s employer, who then must abide by the Order. Our firm has experience in dealing with both the Courts, and the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), in attaining and defending a child support matter. Contact our firm for further information that may be useful to your case.
I HAVE A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER, AND THE OTHER PARENT HAS DEFAULTED. HOW DO I ENFORCE COLLECTION?
Enforcement of a child support order is one of the common practices in family law. There are procedural grounds that must be followed in order to attain an enforceable order to collect chld support arrears. Collections are often enforced against a bank account, either savings or checking, and under limited circumstances, enforcement can be comprised of forcing the debtor parent to sell their stocks, or bonds, in order to collect. Other common collection methods include the recordation of liens on the debtor’s real property, enforcement though wage garnishment, and requests for sanctions and contempt. Contact our firm and allow us to explain to you how we may be able to assist you in enforcing what has rightfully belonged to you.
CAN THE COURT DEVIATE FROM GUIDELINE CHILD SUPPORT?
There is a rebuttable presumption that the Court’s calculated child support guideline is correct. This is the California standard. However, under limited circumstances, there may be good cause not to follow the guideline calculation. As an example, this may be where a parent qualifies for a hardship deduction due to extraordinary health care expenses, or uninsured catastrophic losses.
I NEED THE ASSISTANCE OF A BABYSITTER, OR A CARETAKER, TO CARE FOR MY CHILD WHILE I WORK OR GO TO SCHOOL. CAN I EXPECT THE COURT TO ORDER STANDARD ADDITIONS TO CHILD SUPPORT?
In addition to child support guideline calculations, the court will also consider additional factors called mandatory add-ons. Mandatory add-ons that the Court will include in a Dissomaster child support calculation are items such as child-care for employment or job training, uninsured health care expenses. There are other factors that the Court may consider, which are categorized as discretionary add-ons. These take the shape and form of child’s travel expenses, and child’s educational expenses. Contact our firm to discuss and determine how your child support can be properly calculated so that you are not receiving less, or paying too much.
THE OTHER PARENT IS NOT WORKING, OR REFUSES TO WORK, WHICH AFFECTS MY CHILD SUPPORT. WHAT COULD BE DONE BY THE COURT?
Child support is affected by the income of each parent. When one parent is unemployed, underemployed, or refuses to find employment, the Court has discretion to impute income to the unemployed parent. This is a useful tool that the court will utilize to attribute income; often times, it may be necessary to illustrate to the Court that there is an ability to work, and opportunity to work in that particular employment.