child support faq

Raising a child can put a financial burden on many individuals, especially with the high costs of living in California. With payments from the other parent, some of those issues can be alleviated. 

Whether you need to modify an order or want to know the basics of these agreements, you might have a few California child support FAQs. Let’s examine these questions and help provide you with answers. 

Who Gets Child Support?

In most cases, the parent who is the primary caregiver will receive this financial assistance. However, if both parents share custody, they may both contribute to the payments. 

With this help, the custodial parent can cover everything from food to housing, medical care, and education. The child will be able to meet their basic needs and live a comfortable life.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

When it comes to calculating these payments, several factors come into play. In California, the courts will look at each parent’s income and the current custody arrangement

First, the gross income is calculated, which accounts for all types of income. After that, taxes and health insurance premiums are deducted to reach the net disposable income. 

Monthly child support payments take those figures and use a custody percentage for each parent. As previously mentioned, the parent who is the primary caregiver will receive the majority of this assistance. 

Any Exceptions to These Calculations?

In some cases, the court may deviate from the guideline amount due to special circumstances. These are determined on a case-by-case basis.

If one or both parents have a high income, the court may consider adjusting the amount of support to reflect that. 

The educational or special needs of the child are another exception. If the child has special needs, the amount could be increased to cover those expenses. 

Along with that, if either parent is experiencing hardship or debt, the court may consider deviating from the guideline amounts.

How Can You Enforce Child Support Orders?

When a court orders these payments, it is a legally binding agreement. There are several ways to ensure they are made. Wage garnishment, liens, and seizure of assets are some of the enforcement measures in the state. 

There can be serious consequences if a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support. They may face fines or even jail time for contempt of court. 

Additionally, their credit score may be negatively impacted. In turn, they may be unable to get loans or credit in the future.

These enforcement methods can help ensure that non-custodial parents meet their financial obligations and provide for their children’s needs.

Can You Modify Child Support Orders?

Nothing is certain in life, and there are always changes. Under certain circumstances, one parent can request a modification before the courts. Some of the life changes may include a reduction in income or a change in the child’s needs. In these cases, the child support requirements will need to be modified. 

In these cases, the parent will need to file a motion in the court that granted the original order. With that, the individual will need to provide a detailed explanation of their changed circumstance and make a proposed modification. After that, the court will review the request and make a decision. 

Like all decisions regarding children, it is made in their best interests. If the court agrees with the request, then the order will be modified. 

With a denial, the original order stands. In these situations, the original child support order remains in effect until the court rules on the case. 

Get Answers to Your Child Support Questions

Those are a few California child support FAQs. If you have any questions about your order or need to make changes, reach out to our firm. 

At Roberts & Zatlin Law Office, let us assist in your child custody modification case. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.

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