Child Support Attorneys
If you look at the issues that take up the most time in a divorce, matters regarding children often top the list. That includes child support. California, like most other states, expects both parents to provide the financial support their children need. While the process of calculating child support may deem straightforward, it can get complicated fairly quickly when there are children from other relationships, extraordinary expenses, and fluctuating incomes.
Whether you are in a position to pay or receive child support, it’s important to advocate for your child and yourself as you work through negotiations. The team at Castillo & Associates supports clients throughout Coachella Valley in communities like Palm Springs, Indian Wells, and Palm Desert. Call us at 800-497-9774 to set up a consultation now.
Calculating Child Support in California
Child support is calculated per Family Code 4050. In general, child support orders are based on how much each parent earns and how much parenting time each party has. As the legislation states, the child’s best interests determine how m such child support should be paid. The goal is to ensure that the standard of living is the same at both homes, which may mean that child support is used to increase the child’s standard of living at the custodial parent’s home. In cases where both parents have substantial parenting time, child support should be ordered to alleviate the costs of having a child in two homes and ensure that disparities between the homes are minimal.
Do Other Expenses Affect Child Support?
The law also outlines circumstances in which the standard calculation is not appropriate. If the parent who would be ordered to pay child support has an unusually high income and following the calculation would result in an order that exceeds the child’s needs, the court may decrease child support accordingly. Child support may also vary if the custodial parent is not meeting the child’s financial needs appropriately, the parents have different custodial arrangements for different children, or the child has exceptional medical needs.
Getting Child Support Established
The process of getting child support established is fairly straightforward. Once a case is opened, a court date is set. Both parties will need to present evidence of their income and financial status so the court can determine a fair child support amount. After hearing from both parties and looking at the available evidence, the family court judge will make the order official.
If you are getting divorced and pursuing child support as part of that process, it will be part of the divorce negotiations. Most divorcing couples choose to figure out child support during divorce negotiations, rather than leaving it up to a judge.
When is Child Support Modified?
Circumstances change all the time, and when they do, a modified child support order may be necessary. Either party may request a reevaluation of the current child support order. If you choose to do so, ensure that you look at current guidelines and calculations before doing so. The court does not consider who filed the request when reevaluating the order, so it’s not uncommon for one party to request a reevaluation and have the modified order benefit the other party instead.
What situations warrant a child support modification? They include:
- The loss of a job or a significant demotion
- A new job
- Changes to a payer’s health and ability to pay
- Modifications in child custody and parenting time
- Emancipation of a child
- A career-ending injury
- Either parent having another child
How We Can Help – At Castillo & Associates, we understand the importance of a fair child support order. A just child support agreement will ensure that a child’s needs are fully met by both parents but neither parent is destitute as a result. With so many factors at play in the calculation of child support, it’s important to protect yourself and your child’s best interests with an attorney. Our team of child support attorneys in Indio and La Quinta can analyze the variety of factors affecting the court’s decision, find out where you are and are not willing to negotiate, and fight for an outcome that benefits everyone involved. Should you need a modification for your order, we will advocate for you in court and push for an outcome that meets your child’s needs.
Contact Castillo & Associates Now
With an experienced child support attorney by your side, you can feel confident as you work towards a fair and reasonable child support order. Let’s sit down and talk about what comes next—and how we can help. Send us a message online or call us at 800-497-9774 to get started.