California Child Support Lawyer Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area
When you have a child, you are responsible for sharing 50% of the costs of raising that child. When you are married, California assumes that you and your spouse jointly provide for the child. However, when you divorce or when you have a child with someone you are not married to, the court steps in to ensure that the child is provided for by both parents.
Raising a child is a costly endeavor, and your financial responsibility for the child is dependent upon your income. If you are a parent and are dealing with a child support issue, you need the advice and legal assistance of a trained child support lawyer. Kourosh Pourmorady and his associates have decades of experience with advocating in family court in Los Angeles. Our attorneys have a reputation for delivering competent, compassionate, and dedicated representation to our family law clients. For a free child support case evaluation, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady at (866) 666-6529.
Child Support in California
Under California law, parents are responsible for financially providing for their children until the child turns 18. Child support is a monthly payment usually made by the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the parent who spends the least amount of the time with the child. If the parents share equal time, both parents can be required to pay child support.
Child support pays for expenses related to raising a child. These expenses include feeding, clothing, and educating the child, medical expenses, cost of living expenses, and more.
The custodial parent directly pays for expenses, which is why child support payments are usually made to the custodial parent. This is to reimburse the custodial parent. However, child support can also be made to a court clearinghouse, which accepts payments and then disburses them according to a schedule. This often occurs when the government provides support to the custodial parent, such as food stamps, TANF or health insurance.
Calculating Child Support Payments
The court uses a mathematical formula in determining the costs of raising a child. You can estimate your monthly child support expenses with the California Guidelines Calculator. This calculator approximates the monthly cost of raising a child by taking into account the number of children, the amount of time spent with each parent, your tax information, monthly wages, other income, spousal support payments, and child support payments for other children. Thus the more money you make, the higher your child support payments will likely be.
The court is not constrained to the calculator. Depending on extenuating circumstances, such as special medical needs, the court may order that the noncustodial parent pay more or less than calculated.
In addition, as part of a child custody and support agreement, the parents can negotiate and agree upon a different amount. However, this amount must be approved by the court in order to be valid. Thus the parents usually cannot agree to child support payments below the guidelines unless they can show they are cognizant of their rights and are voluntarily relinquishing those rights. The parents must also show that the child’s expenses will still be covered despite the lower amount.
Child Support Modification
Though a child support order will likely specify the exact amount to be paid, when it is to be paid, and for how long (usually until the child turns 18), this child support order can be modified.
The parent ordered to pay the child support payments can file a motion to modify if his or her income has changed or if the custodial status has changed. Thus, this parent may request lowered payments because his or her wages have decreased. The parent may also request that payments be lowered because he or she is spending more time with the child. If custody changes from one parent to the other, the support order can also be modified to reflect this.
The parent ordered to receive the child support payments can file a motion to modify if circumstances have changed. For instance, if this parent would like to request more in support due to extenuating circumstances such as medical expenses that occurred after the child support order was executed.
If a parent fails to follow the child support order by refusing to make timely payments, the custodial parent can file a motion for contempt to have the judge intervene. A parent found in contempt of a support order can be required by the judge to become current on payments or face jail time.
California Child Support Attorney Prepared to Advocate for Your Parental Rights
If you are struggling with a child support order, a skilled child support lawyer can help you understand the child support guidelines, calculate potential monthly child support payments, negotiate with the other party, and advocate for your parental rights in court. The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady has assisted family law clients for over 47 years in Los Angeles courts and is prepared to fight for your best interests. Call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529 for a free child support consultation.