Fresno Child Support Lawyer Helping You Provide for Your Children
It is no secret that children are expensive. From food and shelter to school clothes and sports equipment, children cost a lot. Both parents should be contributing to cover these costs. Ideally, each parent will contribute fairly to support the children they helped bring into the world without being ordered to do so. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to get the legal system involved in order for your children to get the financial support they are entitled to.
There are a lot of factors that go into a child support order from the court, including the income and living situations of each parent. Finding out what your children’s other parent makes or owns to determine a fair child support payment can be difficult, but a knowledgeable child support lawyer from Bains Law Offices in Fresno can do that legwork for you. Call our Fresno office today to get started on providing your children with all the support they need and deserve. 559-890-1007
How Is the Amount of Child Support Determined in California?
Each parent has an equal obligation under the law to support their dependent children. The parents can agree on an amount they both think is reasonable, or they can rely on the court system to decide on what amount is fair. If the parents cannot agree on child support payments, the amount of the child support obligations is determined based on California guidelines for child support, which consider things like how much each parent earns, how many children they have together, how much time the child or children spend with each parent and the tax-filing status of each parent. Also taken into consideration are costs for each parent such as any support being paid for children from other relationships, mandatory union dues and retirement contributions, health insurance costs, and the costs of shared uninsured medical expenses, among other factors.
What Happens if a Parent Falls Behind on Child Support Payments?
In California, interest is charged on any child support payments that are in arrears. If a parent is court-ordered to pay support and does not, that parent’s wages can be garnished to pay off the unpaid amount and future payments. This may mean that the monthly amount deducted from the payment will be higher than the regular monthly child support payment, in order to pay off the amount owed. Interest continues to accrue, even if the parent is making payments to take care of the back child support owed. If a parent has the ability to pay court-ordered child support but refuses to, he or she can be held in contempt of court. This can have serious consequences, sometimes including jail time.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Typically, child support ends when a child turns 19 or leaves high school, whichever comes first. Parents can agree to continue child support longer than this– to share college costs, for example. The court may require child support for a longer period if a child is disabled or cannot live independently and support himself or herself. Child support will end early if the child marries or registers a domestic partnership, joins the military, becomes legally emancipated from the parents, or dies.
It is important to have strong legal advice before agreeing to child support terms with the other parent of your child or children. Without it, you may end up agreeing to less than your children deserve, and you could neglect to think far enough in advance to consider things like college costs. One of the skilled child support attorneys from Bains Law Offices will help you to get both the short-term and long-term support your children need. Call us today at 559-890-1007
What Happens if My Financial Situation or Time with My Child Changes?
If one parent or the other has a significant change in financial circumstances, whether for the better or for the worse, or if each parent’s time spent with the child or children changes significantly, a child support modification can be obtained through the court system. The court will consider the new information and make a determination based mainly on the financial means of each parent and the time the child spends in each home.
Support payments can go up or down depending on this information. If you are the parent paying support, your child support obligations do not change until the court orders a change. For example, if you lose your job but do not get a court-ordered change in your payment obligation until 6 months later, you will still owe the original amount of child support for those 6 months. The change begins with the court order, not with the change in circumstances. Solid legal counsel can help you through the process of modifying a child support order.