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Paying Child Support in California

Orange County Divorce & Family Lawyer

Child support is a financial obligation that must be paid by a noncustodial parent to the custodial parent for the care and support of a child. Custody is awarded based on the best interests of the child, the wishes of the parents and the wishes of the child. In sole custody agreements, one parent is granted primary custody and the right to make major decisions involving the child's life. The noncustodial parent spends less time with the child and is required to make child support payments. In order for child support payments to be established, the paternity of the child must be proven to the family law courts either by a paternity test or the father's own admittance.

How the Judge Determines Child Support

If you have been deemed the noncustodial parent and are required to pay child support, the judge will consider all financial aspects of your life. It is important to take care of your child, but you must take care of yourself, as well. This is why it is in your best interest to hire an Orange County divorce attorney who will protect you from paying more than you are legally responsible for. I have 20 years of experience in divorce law, and I will know if you are being asked to pay too much.

The following must be answered in order to determine child support:

  • Gross income amounts of each parent, including tips, commissions and bonuses
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child
  • Income tax deductions each parent claims, such as mortgage interest
  • Heath insurance deductions
  • Any special medical needs of the child
  • Dividends, social security, union dues, pensions
  • Financial obligations
  • Any lottery or prize winnings
  • Support obligations to other children from previous relationships

If you do not agree with the child support agreement, your payments will be made through California's State Disbursement Unit on a basis determined in court. If you are employed, the court may order a garnishment of your wages. Usually, someone will contact your employer and inform them of this wage assignment, and the amount will be deducted from your paycheck.

The Child Support Payment Process

If you and your spouse agree that the payments can be made without the assistance of the State Disbursement Unit, the wage assignment may be put on hold. If you and the custodial parent are on good terms, this may be a more attractive option for all parties. By paying directly for your child's educational and extra-curricular needs, you take on a greater involvement in his or her life. This may also save the custodial parent a great deal of time that they would have spent writing checks and paying bills related to the child's needs.

If you have already been paying child support but are currently experiencing a hardship and would like to modify the amount being paid, I can help. Child support modification may be allowed under certain circumstances. For instance, you can request a modification if you now receive income that is substantially lower than before or there is a change in custody or a visitation arrangement. Please contact my firm today so I can review the facts of your case and advise you on the legal steps that I can take on your behalf.

Have you been ordered to pay child support in Orange County?

As your lawyer, I can help determine the amount of child support that must be paid. In addition, I can also represent you in court to help ensure that your parental rights are not violated and that the amount of child support the judge enforces is fair. Child support is calculated using a formula that is based on California child support guidelines. As a skilled divorce lawyer in Orange County, I am very familiar with the exact formula used and can help you gather the documentation needed as proof of your financial status, including any current child support obligations.

As a board-certified family law specialist, I am well-equipped to represent you. For two decades I have focused my career exclusively in the area of family law. Please call Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC to schedule a free case consultation.