Resolving Complex Child Support Disputes
If you are involved in a child support dispute, turn to Giammichele Law, APC for the knowledgeable and compassionate representation you deserve. Our Laguna Woods child support lawyer has a proven track record of negotiating and litigating for fair child support settlements. Whether you are seeking child support or being required to pay, depend on our experienced legal team to help you seek a favorable outcome.
An Overview of Child Support in California
Under California State law, every parent has the duty to support their child financially. When a child's parents no longer live under one roof, whether because of a legal separation or divorce, the court may order one or both parents to pay a specific amount of money each month to help pay for their child's living expenses. This monthly payment is known as child support and is intended to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and an education.
Child support may be requested by:
- Either parent of the child
- The individual that has legal or physical custody of the child
There are a variety of ways that one may ask for a child support order, depending on the specific set of circumstances. A parent may ask for child support alone. On the other hand, a parent may request child support as part of another family law case, such as a divorce, paternity, or domestic violence case. If the child's parents are unmarried, paternity will need to be established prior to requesting support. In situations where the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) has opened a case, the DCSS will automatically initiate a child support case against the other parent.
Can a Child Support Dispute Be Settled Outside of Court?
Parents are given the opportunity to agree on the terms of child support without going to court. However, the arrangement will need to be approved by a judicial officer. To avoid going to court, you and the child's other parent will need to fill out the Stipulation to Establish or Modify a Child Support Order (Form FL-350). This document informs the judge of the amount of child support you and the other parent have agreed on. It must be signed by both parents, and if the DCSS has been involved, their signature is also required.
How the Court Calculates Child Support
If the parents cannot agree on an amount that is fair and reasonable, the matter can be taken to court for a decision. In this case, the court would order one parent to pay the other parent (usually the custodial parent) a specific amount each month to help cover the costs of the child's living expenses.
The court will determine the amount of child support to be paid based on the state guideline calculation. It is very rare for a judge to order an amount that is different than the guideline amount.
The factors a judge will consider when determining the child support payment include:
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child
- The income of each parent
- Each parent's earning capacity
- The number of children the parents have together
- The amount of support given to children from other relationships
- The tax filing status of each parent
- Health insurance expenses
- Union dues
- Retirement contributions
Contact Us Today at 949-339-1845
Giammichele Law, APC stands ready to assist you through your child support case. Consult with our Laguna Woods child support attorney today and get on the path toward successfully resolving your matter.