Under California law, both parents of a child have an obligation to financially support their child until they reach the age of 18. Under certain circumstances, the period could be extended if the child is disabled. Additionally, the obligation could continue until the age of 19 if the child is still in high school and unmarried. If you are divorcing or separating when your child is young, you could be burdened with years of paying child support. The California child support attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC understand that you want to provide the best for your child. We also know that a support order might not reflect your economic reality. To ensure your child is properly taken care of and that your share is reasonably proportioned, you should contact our Ventura, CA child support lawyer early in the legal process.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Child Support in California?
Before dealing with child support, it is essential to hire our experienced attorney early to help you understand your obligations. California law requires parents to support their children, no matter the status of the parents or where the children reside. The purpose is to ensure that children are taken care of whether their parents are unmarried, separated, divorced, or not together at all. Determining what that support should be is a complicated process, including both administrative and court procedures. You must retain our Santa Barbara child support attorney as soon as the process begins. Our office will then have the necessary time to review your financial situation thoroughly.
To ensure your child is properly cared for and that your obligation is fairly determined, you need vigorous representation from the very beginning of the process. Receiving child support, or determining what you need to pay, requires specific steps taken in a timely manner. If the process is delayed, a child will likely not receive the financial support that they need.
In some situations, paternity is questioned. It is critical to have our office’s help as soon as the paternity question is raised. If child support is being requested outside of a divorce proceeding, a paternity test might be necessary. If you are not the parent, you are not obligated to pay child support. On the other hand, if you are requesting child support from an individual who is not the biological parent, you are not entitled to support payments. Our Ventura family law attorneys can assist you with the process of establishing paternity.
How a California Child Support Attorney Can Help With Other Family Law Issues
There is a multitude of legal issues surrounding child support that are familiar to our Ventura divorce lawyer. To properly navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights, it is crucial to have our office representing your rights from the very beginning of your divorce, custody, or support proceedings.
A family law case will often include more than just child support and will be combined with a divorce proceeding, a legal separation, or a petition for custody. You do not want to be in a situation where the other party is benefiting from experienced legal advice, and you are not.
Factors that Affect Calculating Child Support Payments Under California Law
A California court will look at two primary factors when determining child support obligations for each parent. The first is the net income of the parent. The second is the time each parent spends with their child.
It is essential to have the assistance of our experienced California child support attorney from the beginning of the process to ensure your income is fairly calculated. In many cases, calculating net income is done simply by reviewing a parent’s payroll history or W-2 statement. However, in more complicated cases, income is derived from various sources such as a partnership, solely owned and operated business, or financial investments.
The child custody process greatly influences the child support award. You need our experienced Ventura child custody attorney fighting for your parental rights as well. If you are currently separated, and neither yourself nor your partner has begun legal proceedings, it is wise to retain our office before anything official is filed. We can help you build a body of evidence that could greatly influence both custody and support.
Avoiding a Long Legal Trial with a California Child Support Lawyer
Once all the income has been calculated and the time evaluated, a judge will sign an order for child support. This could be a long court hearing or a formality, depending on whether the couple is disputing the child support payments.
By retaining our office early in the process, we could potentially help you avoid a long, drawn-out trial. In some instances, it is possible that the two parties, with the help of our experienced attorneys, could agree to an amount without the need for a trial. However, a judge will still have to approve the support agreement to ensure it provides for the child appropriately.
Call Our California Child Support Attorney for a Free Consultation
Determining and obtaining child support is a complicated and emotionally draining legal process. It is often coupled with other issues, including divorce proceedings and child custody disputes. It is critical to retain our knowledgeable California family law attorney from the very beginning. To schedule a free consultation to review your child support case and any other related family law matter, call the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, at (805) 643-5555.