San Diego Child Support Attorney
Do you need help securing extra child support from your ex-spouse? Do you think you’re being asked to pay too much in support?
Do you want to make sure support payments are negotiated in a way that’s fair and also makes sure your kids are taken care of?
Contact the San Diego child support lawyers at the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC for help.
With decades of combined experience, we’re here to help you fight for what’s best for you and your family.
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Experienced San Diego Child Support Lawyer
In any California divorce that involves children, child support is sure to be a significant issue. The legal system places a high value on the wellbeing of children, and the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC feels the same way.
That’s why we are committed to ensuring our clients’ child support orders are fair and that they properly provide for the children.
We are well-versed in the many factors that dictate child support awards and equipped to advise clients in even the most complex cases. Whether you are going through a divorce, want to change your current child support order, or need to collect unpaid child support–we can help.
San Diego child support orders are determined based on a number of factors, including each parent’s finances and the needs of the children, as well as the particular custody arrangement. The goal of child support is to make sure that the children of a divorce suffer as little decrease in their standard of living as possible.
Divorce can be difficult enough for children without added financial worries. At the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, our attorneys are focused on achieving the best possible results for our clients and their families.
If you have questions about child support in a pending divorce or an existing child support order, do not hesitate to give our office a call.
What is Child Support?
In California, both parents are equally responsible for taking care of their childrens’ financial needs. This can be simple when parents are married or involved in a committed relationship. Things can get more complicated when those parents separate or divorce. When that happens, it can be tough to make sure that both parents fulfill their legal duty to their kids.
That’s what child support is. Child support refers to an amount of money that one or both parents are required to pay to support their child(ren). It’s enforced as a legally-binding court order. The order has to be initiated by a parent.
This might happen as a result of a:
A court reviews the petition for child support and, if it’s deemed necessary, it will order one (or both) parents to begin paying money to support their children’s needs and expenses.
How is Child Support Calculated in California?
It’s important to note that parents have the ability to determine how much they’ll pay in child support. During a divorce, you can sit down with your spouse and talk about how much you think the kids will need, which of you will pay, and how much. This can be binding as long as both of you agree.
Things get more complicated when parents are at odds. When that happens, a San Diego County family law judge will step in and determine what’s appropriate. This isn’t something that’s left entirely to the judge’s discretion. California has specific guidelines for calculating child support obligations.
California’s child support formula, known as the Statewide Uniform Guideline, is as follows:
CS = K[HN – (H%)(TN)].
- CS = Child Support
- HN = Monthly net disposable income of the higher-earning parent
- TN = Total net monthly disposable income of both parents
- H% = Timeshare custody of higher-earning parent
- K = specific amount of both parents’ income allocated for child support. This depends on their combined monthly net disposable income. K can be found in California Family Code Section 4055(a)(3).
Simply put, the formula looks at each parent’s ability to pay child support and compares it to the amount of time each parent spends with their kids.
So, let’s say that Ava and Steve, who have one child together, get divorced. Ava gets primary custody of their daughter. Steve’s custody timeshare is 20 percent. Ava asks the court to award child support. Steve’s net monthly disposable income is $4,000. Together, Steve and Ava’s net monthly disposable income is $6,000. Since their net income is between $801 and $6,666, K = .25.
Here’s what this would look like using the formula: CS = .25*[4,000-(.2*6,000)] So, CS = $700. Steve would be required to pay $700 each month to satisfy his child support obligation.
What Factors Are Considered in Child Support Calculations in California?
California’s child support formula involves the consideration of several factors, including:
- What the parents earn or are capable of earning
- Other income the parents might have
- How many children the parents have
- Custody, specifically timeshare agreements
- Each parent’s tax filing status
- Support children receive from other relationships
- Expenses, including mandatory union dues and retirement contributions, and
- Daycare and uninsured healthcare costs.
Courts can realistically consider any factors that might be relevant to a child’s need and a parent’s ability to pay.
Can I Get Child Support Before the Divorce is Final?
Yes. There are two types of child support orders – temporary and permanent. If, during the course of a divorce, you realize that you need child support now, you can ask the court for a temporary award. To do this, you’ll submit a formal request to the judge overseeing your case. The child’s other parent will have the right to have a hearing and dispute your request.
The court doesn’t necessarily have to know what a parent earns to issue a temporary child support order. A judge can simply require the parent to pay the minimum amount required in the California Work Opportunity and Responsible Kids Act.
At the current date, a parent would have to pay at least $341 to support one child pursuant to this welfare law. Minimum support obligations increase with the number of children affected.
A temporary award will remain in place until (a) a permanent child support order is issued as part of a divorce decree or (b) parents decide to get back together.
Requesting a Modification to a Child Support Order in San Diego
The term “permanent child support order” is kind of a misnomer. That’s because it can be changed or modified. Child support is calculated based on a snapshot of a parent’s custody arrangement and financial situation. Those things might change. If they do, a parent can ask to have a child support order modified to reflect their current situation.
For example, let’s say Alice receives $500 a month in child support from her ex-husband Sean. That money helps to pay for their son Sam’s clothes, books, and food. Alice learns that Sean got a substantial raise at work. As a result, his monthly net disposable income is much greater. Since he’s not spending more time with Sam, Alice wants Sean to pay more in child support.
She can file a petition with the court asking them to increase Sean’s monthly child support obligation. Sean would have the right to a hearing to dispute that request.
Call Our San Diego Child Support Lawyers For Help Today
Child support is an important tool. It helps to ensure that both parents are pulling their weight and taking care of their kids. However, it can be hard for parents to talk about money, especially in the middle of a tough divorce.
You don’t have to figure out child support on your own. Contact the experienced San Diego child support attorneys at the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC for help navigating all of your family law issues. We understand what’s at stake. That’s why we’ll be by your side every step of the way.
We’ll do everything we can to help you achieve the results you want. Call our San Diego law office to schedule a no-obligation case assessment today.