Parents holding their child's hand

How To Navigate Child Support

A new year presents a new set of challenges for many people. This may come in the form a divorce that puts a child right in the middle of it. Even when divorce is the best decision for the parents, it is also important to make sure the child is well taken care of in the process. Child support is one way to make sure children of separated parents have the resources they need to succeed in the future.

Requesting Child Support

Depending on the circumstances, and whether the court has ordered parents to pay child support, there are only two groups of people that can request it:

  • Either parent of the child
  • An individual that has legal or physical custody of the child

Child support can be requested alone as well as part of another lawsuit such as divorce, domestic violence, or paternity cases. When the Department of Child Support Services opens a case, a child support case will automatically be opened.

How Child Support is Calculated

Even though the amount of child support is calculated by state guidelines, but there are factors that a judge will take into consideration when determining child support:

  • Each parent’s income
  • Amount of time spent with the child
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Retirement contributions
  • Number of children the parents have together
  • Tax filing status of each parent

Child support is only calculated by the court if the parents cannot agree on a fair and reasonable amount. In cases like this, courts will order one parent to pay the custodial parents (the parent that maintains custody of the child).

Types of Child Support

There are four different types of child support: V-A, IV-D, IV-E, and non-IV-D cases. Knowing the differences between these cases can help you better understand your situation.

  • V-A: These cases are when custodial parents receive assistance from the state. In order to pay the child support, the state will automatically refer these cases to the Office of Child Support Enforcement for assistance in the collection from the non-custodial parent.
  • IV-D: These cases are when the custodial parent receives assistance from the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The process includes locating the non-custodial parent, establishing paternity, and establishing a child support order. This case is most useful when the location of the non-custodial parent is unknown or they are failing to comply with the terms of the support order.
  • IV-E: This form of support is given to children that are not being supported by their parents. These children are being cared for by other relatives, the foster system, or anyone other than their parents. These cases are also referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement in order to recover support costs from the non-custodial parent(s).
  • Non-IV-D: These are cases in which support agreements are established privately between parents in events such as divorce. These cases can become IV-D cases if the non-custodial parent fails to pay what they owe. They are officially changed to IV-D cases when custodial parents ask the Office of Child Support Enforcement to assist them in helping collect the child support.

Contact Our Laguna Woods Child Support Team Today

We understand the details and complexities of navigating child support can be overwhelming. We are prepared to help our clients find the best solution for not only themselves but their children as well through experienced and compassionate representation.

We can help you litigate for fair child support settlements, and help you gain a favorable outcome.

If you are looking for an experienced child support team to help you through a difficult time, do not hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at (949) 303-7811 to schedule your consultation!