Child Support in Orange County, CA
The State of California utilizes a complex mathematical formula for calculating the amount of support a child should receive. (You can estimate the amount using the state’s guidelines calculator.) The state assigns financial responsibility to each parent using the income shares model, which bases the amount of child support on the monthly cost per child according to what percentage of the total family income each parent makes. If, for example, the non-custodial parent earns 60 percent of the household’s total income, the amount of child support he pays will be 60 percent of the monthly costs per child.
That being said, these calculations are still guidelines, and the courts may raise or lower the calculated amounts based on a wide range of factors. Additionally, parents who go through divorce mediation in Orange County may also agree to child support amounts that are different than the guidelines. Our Orange County divorce lawyer works closely with you in these situations to make sure you are accounting for all the expenses involved in supporting your children. For example, does your child have special needs? Does he/she need a therapist to help deal with the fallout of a divorce?
Resolving Disputes Creatively Can Save Time and Money
One of the most important details to be ironed out in any divorce is how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay. At the Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin, our Orange County child support attorney and legal team are passionate about putting the needs of the child first in any divorce situation, and we will work with either mediation or litigation to ensure you receive the appropriate amount of financial assistance to take care of your children’s needs.
Modifying Child Support Amounts
It is common after a divorce for child support payments to be modified according to changes in financial status or time divisions. We can work with you to request modifications of court ordered child support payments when needed, and we can also fight in court to hold a “deadbeat” parent accountable for back child support, if necessary.
To resolve questions or problems regarding child support in Orange County, either during or after a divorce, Hollie Lemkin can help. Call our office for an appointment today.
How Does a Child Support Case Work?
Child support in California is the amount of money a court can order one or both parents to pay every month for expenses associated with raising a child. While there are specific tools that seemingly make child support seem straightforward, it can get complicated and emotional rather quickly, especially if there are issues with paternity or divorce.
Each parent is ultimately legally responsible for the financial support of their child or children. The court looks at both parents’ income level, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child to determine the court-ordered child support payment. Each parent is required to fill out an income and expense declaration form under the penalty of perjury to prove their incomes.
Child support doesn’t just happen on its own. While you might work out an agreement with the other parent, there is no assurance that they will stick to it without a court order. It is possible to create a legal agreement outside of court, but this can also leave room for an unfair deal.
The judge will look at each person’s net disposable income. The net disposable income is that person’s income after taxes, mandatory expenses, and costs associated with raising children from other relationships when appropriate. The court looks at more than just your pay stubs to determine income, though. It will also look at items like:
- Unemployment benefits
- Workers comp benefits
- Self-employment earnings and more
If you have questions regarding Orange County child support orders, either during or after a divorce, our experienced family lawyer can help. Call our office to schedule your free consultation.
When judges determine a child support amount, they typically look at things like health insurance and monetary support for food, clothing, housing, education, etc. They can also consider back payments. There are some cases where the court or the parents will include childcare, medical bills, and the child’s extracurricular activities. These additional costs are considered on a case-by-case basis.
In a perfect world, the money received from a child support order would directly benefit the child. But it’s hard to know exactly how money is spent, and some expenses are more likely to indirectly benefit the child. It’s crucial that both parties properly document child support payments. If a court suspects any kind of misuse of the funds, the original agreement can be modified.
There are also occasions where one parent might ask for money outside of the agreement. One parent might have an urgent expense and ask for an early support payment. Unfortunately, payments made outside of the court order do not count towards the arrangement. There may be instances when splitting a necessary cost is in the best interest of the child.
If you have questions regarding child support either during or after a divorce in Orange County, our experienced family lawyer can help. Call our office to schedule your free consultation.
There are numerous situations where a child support order can and should be appealed or changed. For example, if one of the parents loses their job. The previous payment may put an extreme burden on the parent.
Of course, the child’s expenses do not change, so the court may only offer a temporary adjustment or reject the claim altogether. Another common situation is that one of the parents has another child who needs support. The court will take into consideration all of the necessary elements to make a decision.
If you have questions regarding child custody and support, either during or after a divorce, call our office to schedule your free consultation with our divorce attorneys Orange County and legal experts.
While some people believe that child support orders automatically end when the child turns 18 years old, that is not always the case. Your specific child support order should specify when the arrangement terminates. Even if the order reaches its end, missed payments will still need to be made to catch up.
Some parents find it difficult to enforce a child support order. If the other parent doesn’t pay their support, you can contact the local child support office or court system. This could result in garnishment orders from the other parent’s paycheck or result in finding them in contempt of court.
Other options include intercepting tax refunds, entering liens against vehicles or real estate, and so on. Working with Orange County divorce attorneys or child support attorneys is by far the best way to deal with a situation where one party isn’t paying their share.
If you have questions regarding child support Orange County legal services, our experienced divorce lawyer can help. Call our office to schedule your free consultation.
Freaquently Asked Questions
How will I know how much the court will order for suport?
There are two types of support; temporary and permanent. Both types of support include child support and spousal support. The purpose of temporary support is intended to maintain the status quo while the action is proceeding. Permanent support is intended to provide support for all times beyond the proceeding so that the children and the supported parent can continue to live in the same lifestyle as they did during the marriage. Start keeping a budget to help determine what that picture looks like now represented in financial terms.
Hollie A. Lemkin responds with the facts you need for wise decisions. This confidential conversation about your legal issues takes place in an atmosphere of candor and comfort. Contact our Orange County child support lawyer for a free consultation.