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Santa Ana Child Support Attorney

Every child has the right to a good life. They deserve to have clear access to food, shelter, education, clothing, and opportunities that will help them explore the world and themselves in the process. In order to get access to these opportunities, their parents must be able to provide it as part of their responsibilities and share the expenses equally until they are 18.

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However, in cases where parents are separated due to divorce or are not married to one another, there is a need to identify which among them is the “custodial parent” and the one providing child support. Both parents can make the agreement by themselves if they can agree with the terms of the child support, but if they cannot, the courts will have to be involved, and it can be a tricky ordeal to go through.

Fortunately, the Santa Ana child support team of Alkam Law Offices is ready to help you with your child support arrangements and get them approved or enforced by the court. Our lawyers can handle any type of child support case—even getting a child custody case started by the court to argue against having to pay child support for certain reasons. We will handle your case with compassion to protect the children who should benefit from the agreement.

Call Alkam Law Offices at (714) 581-9057 for your Free Consultation with an Santa Ana Child Support lawyer!

Child Support Policy in California

In California, the details regarding child support are noted under California Family Code, §§4050 to 4076. Under these sections, it lists down the rules of the court when it comes to ruling on how child support is determined and the underlying goal of ensuring that the child’s best interests are considered during the ruling.

Under Family Code Section 4057 (a), the guideline amount of child support, as noted by the formula listed in the code, is “presumed” as the correct and just amount of child support that the judge can impose on their ruling. However, parties may provide a reason to the court as to why a different amount should be approved.

Aside from the basic guideline amount, a parent can be ordered to contribute to certain expenses for the benefit of the child. Under Family Code §4062, these expenses constitute education or training, certain uninsured health care costs, and other special needs. Should the court order for these add-ons, it is expected that the parents share in these expenses equally. If there is an unequal allocation, Family Code §4061(b) contains the guidelines for the court to determine the guideline amount and the add-on child support between the parents based on their income.

If you find these details confusing, don’t worry. You can ask our Santa Ana child support legal team to help you understand the county’s rules on child support and how it will be computed. We can also help you assess your situation to determine if you will be the one to provide child support or not. We’ll guide you through the entire process and help you make the right decisions as the negotiations take place.

Child Support Calculation

Parents are not only responsible for providing their child with emotional support, but they are also responsible for providing them with monetary support to achieve their goals and avail the services they need to grow without problems. Whether you and the other parent are living together or separately, you are bound by this responsibility whether you like it or not.

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For a parent to seek child support for their children, California offers three ways they can ask for a court-ordered child support order. First, they may apply for the court’s involvement using the child support forms found on the court’s website. They may also request a lawyer to file a petition for child support or ask the California Department of Child Support Services to open a child support case.

In California, child support is calculated using a mathematical formula that considers the total income of the parents, the high net disposable income they have, and the total net monthly disposable income they have. If there is a disparity between the two parents’ income and the supporting parent spends less time with the child, they can easily expect a higher child support amount.

The court also takes in several other factors to determine who pays child support in order to keep everything fair, such as the current situation of the parents and the child’s needs. The parents themselves can agree on the amount, and there are times a small amount is permitted by the courts provided that the parents agree to it and their child’s needs are still met. For parents who will be providing the child support amount monthly, they can do it via direct deposit, check, cash or Venmo.

Alkam Law Offices can help you understand the calculation of child support and help you establish child support. We can also negotiate with the California Department of Child Support Services to get the child support case underway and enforced.

Child Support Enforcement

Once the courts establish child support, enforcement can be done by the court in a variety of ways, especially when the other parent fails to pay their child support responsibilities on time.

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First, the delinquent parent may be held in contempt by the court. Contempt can either be civil or criminal, and it may lead to fines or jail time. Parents who are held in civil contempt can be released if they pay a certain amount that they owe for child support. Additional penalties may be added by the court for both civil and criminal contempt. It is important to note that there is a three-year time limit for parents to file a contempt action for nonpayment of support. You must repeat the filing every three years if the noncustodial parent is still not paying.

Another way for the courts to deal with non-complying parents is by issuing a variety of penalties during a court hearing. Penalties can range from a $1,000 fine, financial reparations for any fees paid by the other party during the proceedings, and wage garnishment to jail time. These penalties and motions for contempt may not be applied if the noncustodial parent does not have the financial ability to keep up with the payments if they can prove it in court.

Our Santa Ana child support legal team can immediately reach out to the courts in case one parent fails to pay off child support or does not cooperate with the agreement. We can also file a motion for contempt on your behalf, as well as help you apply for child support services with the Department of Child Support Services.

Additional Penalties for Nonpayment of Child Support

In the state of California, other penalties will be imposed on the parent who failed to uphold their child support responsibility. If they are behind 30 days or more with the payments, the Department of Motor Vehicles may refuse to issue or renew their driver’s license and only use a temporary license. The validity of the temporary license or re-issuance of their license will not be changed until they catch up with their child support payments. If they are behind 120 days or more, the state will revoke their license completely.

The Department of Child Support Service will also note in their records that the parent is a delinquent and report them to credit reporting agencies. These agencies will then mark the parent’s credit record with a negative rating, disabling them from getting loans and other financial services.

Child Support Modification

A child support order is not permanent as various circumstances may change for either the parents or the child as time progresses. The courts do allow modifications provided that the courts are provided with just reasoning for the request.

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Many factors can lead to a change to the child support order, from the supporting parent losing their job, changes to the visitation agreement, the child’s needs have shifted, to the other parent having another child with a different partner. The court will consider these reasons, as well as the current financial situation of each parent and time-sharing arrangement with the child prior to the request for a child support modification.

It is possible to have the child support amount increase even if the supporting parent has lost their job or had an income decrease. The time-share will play a big role in this, as well as the other parent’s situation.

Our Santa Ana child support legal team will work alongside the court and the Orange County County Child Support Services Department to establish a fair child support arrangement and ensure its enforcement. We will also work with the department for modification of the child support amount when needed. You can also ask our team at any time to clear any questions you may have during the proceedings.

Let’s Talk Now – Free Consultation

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Children do not just require emotional support from their parents in order to grow up as well-rounded individuals. They must also be given financial support to pursue their passions and acquire the necessities they will need in life. As a parent, it is crucial that you are able to support your children in every way possible, may it be emotionally or financially.

Let our Santa Ana, CA family law firm be your partner in resolving this issue and ensure that your children receive the financial support they need. You can also count on us to be with you in every step so you won’t be caught off guard as the negotiations take place.

Call Alkam Law Offices at (714) 581-9057 for your Free Consultation with an Santa Ana Child Support lawyer!