In California, as in most states, parents going through divorce are responsible for the financial support of their children.
Child support is the money paid by one divorcing parent to the other parent as his or her contribution to the support of the minor children. (Child support is also appropriate in paternity cases where there was no marriage and the parents live apart). In California, the amount of child support is determined by a statutory formula. If the divorcing parents can not agree upon the amount of child support, the judge will evaluate all the factors that go into the formula and make a ruling on who will pay and how much. The divorce and family law statutes do not discriminate as to whether the father pays the mother or vice versa.
The amount of child support depends on several factors, including both the custodial and non-custodial parent’s incomes, the tax filing status of the divorcing parents, and certain financial obligations, as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the children. Occasionally, the standard of living that the children and parents enjoyed before the dissolution of the marriage may be considered in awarding child support.
Child support is paid via a wage assignment unless otherwise agreed upon by the parents. This means that the support payment is taken directly from the paycheck of the spouse who must pay the child support.
In today’s courtrooms, child support is almost always calculated by a computer program that takes all of the prescribed factors into consideration. Judges have comparatively little discretion to vary the computer-calculated amount of child support, but they do have wide latitude to decide about disputed input data (for example, the true amount of a parent’s income or expenses). The duration of child support usually is quite standard: until the child marries, dies, reaches the age of 18 years (or 19 years if still in high school and living with a parent), or is emancipated.
The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is often involved in the enforcement and collection of child support. Attorney Joseph P. Downs has been the County Counsel for the County of Orange representing clients in Christian Family Law contempt cases. Attorney Downs can utilize his 20 plus years of Family Law experience in negotiate your Child Support claim with the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS).
For answers to your questions regarding your Child Support case, Call us today at (714) 538-3730 to schedule your free initial 30 minute in office consultation with Attorney Joseph P. Downs.
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