Trusted Child Support Attorneys in San Diego, California
Understanding Child Support Obligations in San Diego
Child support obligations in San Diego are governed by California state law. In general, both parents have a legal responsibility to financially support their child or children, regardless of whether they are married or not. In California, both parents are equally responsible for taking care of their children’s needs.
Child support obligations are based on both parents’ incomes, certain expenses that are paid for the benefit of the children, and the number of overnights that each parent enjoys. Child support is designed to assist the receiving party in covering the children’s reasonable needs. The primary goal is to not dampen the children’s quality of life following a divorce.
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Calculating Child Support in California
Determining child support can be stressful for all involved. During your divorce if you and your spouse are still on good terms, the discussion of how much the children need can be a binding agreement. However, often in divorce the spouses do not see eye to eye and may need a family law judge to step in.
California offers a free child support calculator to help with this process. These factors are taken into account when calculating child support in San Diego:
- Parents’ individual disposable income
- Division of time spent with children
- Number of children being supported
- Deductions for some expenses
Other factors that influence child support agreements include the earning potential of a parent, number of children, support from other relationships, daycare and uninsured healthcare costs.
Working with an experienced and trusted child support attorney in San Diego helps parents get through the child support process more efficiently. Make sure you take action where you can to ensure your child is getting the financial support they need and deserve.
Child Support Enforcement Options in California
Working with a child support attorney throughout your support case can help ensure your child support payments are legally enforceable should things go wrong with one parent’s attempt to avoid their child support payments.
In California, there are several steps that can be taken to enforce legally binding child support payments:
- Start by contacting the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS): You can open a case with DCSS, which will help you collect child support payments. They can help you locate the other parent, establish paternity, establish a child support order, and enforce child support payments.
- File a motion for contempt: If the other parent is not complying with a court order to pay child support, you can file a motion for contempt with the court. This motion asks the court to find the other parent in contempt of court and may result in penalties such as wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, or even imprisonment.
- Wage garnishment: You can request that the other parent’s employer garnish their wages to collect child support payments directly from their paycheck.
- Intercept tax refunds: DCSS can intercept the other parent’s tax refunds to collect past-due child support payments.
- Seize property: If the other parent owns property, such as a car or a house, you may be able to seize it to collect child support payments.
- File a lien: You can file a lien against the other parent’s property, which will give you a claim on their property until they pay their child support arrears.
It’s important to note that enforcing child support payments can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it’s recommended that you seek the assistance of a family law attorney in San Diego for help.
Temporary Child Support Payments in California
California recognizes both temporary and permanent child support orders. Temporary child support orders can be given before a divorce is finalized. A formal request must be sent to the judge overseeing your case if you need a temporary support payment ordered. The other parent does have the right to request a hearing and dispute your formal request.
With a temporary child support payment, the court may order an amount without having the full financial information needed to determine a permanent child support order. The decree from the family law judge that provides a temporary child support award stays in place unless the parents get back together, or a permanent child support order is determined during the divorce.
Skipping Out On Paying Child Support in San Diego
Skipping out on paying your child support in San Diego has consequences beyond the child’s needs not being met. Child support is a legal obligation, and non-payment can result in serious penalties. It’s important to note that failing to make child support payments can result in legal action, including wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, seizure of property, and even imprisonment in extreme cases.
If you are unable to make child support payments, you should contact the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) immediately to explore your options. DCSS can help you request a modification of your child support order based on a change in your circumstances, such as a job loss or a significant decrease in income.
It’s essential to prioritize your child support payments to avoid these consequences and ensure that your child’s needs are met.
Child Support Tax Rules in California
In California, child support payments are not considered taxable income for the parent receiving the payments, nor are they tax-deductible for the parent making the payments. This means that the parent making child support payments cannot claim them as a deduction on their federal income tax return.
California law does not require the parent receiving child support payments to report them as income on their state tax return. However, it is crucial to note that this may not be the case for federal tax purposes. Although child support payments are not taxable income for the parent receiving them at the federal level, the IRS may require them to report the payments if they receive other taxable income. It’s essential to consult an experienced divorce and family law attorney for advice on how child support payments may impact your specific tax situation.
Modifying a Child Support Payment Agreement in San Diego
Permanent child support orders can in fact be modified in the state of California. If there has been a significant change in situations since the creation of the original child support order. Either parent in California has the option to request a modification of child support following a significant change.
If you need to modify your child support, it is critical that you retain legal counsel. Attempting to modify a child support order without legal representation can result in negative consequences, such as an unfavorable decision due to insufficient evidence. Don’t gamble with your future, contact Fair Cadora today and let one of our family law attorneys handle your case.
Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Expert San Diego Child Support Attorneys
At Fair Cadora we offer a free case evaluation for potential new clients to help take some of the pressure off the child support process. We like for our potential new clients to get to know us and get a feel for our practice, so they can feel confident with our representation. If you’re facing a child support issue and not sure where to start, contact one of our experienced San Diego child support attorneys to schedule a consultation.