California has established uniform guideline support standards which Judges are required to follow, unless the parties agree otherwise. Support is based on two primary factors: the amount of time each parent spends with the children and each parent’s income. While it may appear easy at first to simply type numbers into a computer program to calculate guideline support, there are many benefits to relying on an attorney for assistance in this area. We can guide you through the process to ensure that all income and expense factors are taken into account. There are also certain exceptions to guideline support that may be applicable in your particular situation.
Common issues in child support include:
- Modification: child support is typically modifiable until the child turns 18 and is a graduate of high school. There are countless reasons why support needs to be modified, including loss of or increased income, a change in the visitation schedule, or a new job. Regardless of the reason why you need a change, it is imperative to do so, since your support cannot change until a motion is filed.
- Arrears: If the person who owes you child support has stopped paying, this often causes a severe financial burden. You are entitled to the court-ordered support with interest, no matter how long ago the missed payments occurred. Conversely, if you are currently overwhelmed with seemingly insurmountable arrears, there are ways to manage your payments and provide you with some measure of relief.
- Child care, extracurricular, and medical expenses: The reality is that children have a lot of expenses, from daycare to ballet classes. Child support may not cover these extra costs. There are ways to arrange for these costs to be divided in an equitable fashion, in order to benefit your children.
Whether you are the party entitled to support or you are a parent looking for relief from your onerous support order, contact our offices to discuss your particular situation