Carpinteria Child Support Lawyer
Child support is a common type of family law matter. Parents are legally required to share the financial burdens of raising their children, whether the parents are together or not. When parents live separately or go through a divorce, the courts often step in to create child support orders, determining what payments the parents must make to support their children.
If you are in need of child support payments, want to receive more child support, or think you are paying too much and want your payments decreased, talk to our Carpinteria child support lawyers today. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth represent both payors and recipients on their child support cases and fight to help them get the outcome they want in their case. For a free consultation with our lawyers, contact our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.
Who Pays Child Support in California?
In most child support cases, the decision of who pays child support comes down to who has custody of the children. In the majority of cases, the parent who has physical custody of the children (called the “custodial parent) is the one who receives child support payments. This happens because the children live with the custodial parent, so that parent pays for most needs out of pocket. Child support is expected to reimburse that parent for the noncustodial parent’s share. When both parents share physical custody, one parent often gets custody for more of the year than the other parent. In these cases, the primary custodial parent with more parenting time usually receives the child support.
The decision of who pays child support is also based on the incomes of each parent. For instance, in a situation where one parent makes significantly more income than the other, it is expected that that parent pays for a higher portion of the children’s needs. If both parents have similar incomes, then they will likely pay support based on how much time they have with the kids. This means that two parents who have the same income and share time 50/50 might not need child support since each parent covers the children’s costs out of pocket for an equal amount of time. Alternatively, if the split is 60/40 with similar incomes for each parent, the parent with 40% of the time will likely pay 10% of the children’s support to make up for the difference in out-of-pocket expenses.
How Much is Child Support in California?
When determining how much should be paid in child support, California courts look at the expected cost of raising a child based on your income. The value the courts use for your income is your post-tax income, known as your “disposable income,” which may exclude some other deductions as part of the calculation. You may also be able to include things like health insurance and other benefits you provide your children as part of your income and child support calculations.
Another important factor in the calculation is also the number of children you support. If you have children from another relationship or have other children that you support living in your household (e.g. stepchildren), the court looks at the total number of children you support. Each additional child does not necessarily mean doubling or tripling the support cost, which could lower your per-child support cost if you have many children to support. It also means that if you support multiple children from multiple relationships, the court should look at the totality of your situation when determining child support amounts, not just the children this order affects.
To understand the actual payment amount you will be required to pay, you need to talk to an attorney about your case. California’s calculator is very fact-specific, and it is difficult to accurately estimate how much you might pay without examining the facts of your case.
Changing Child Support Orders in CA
In most cases, the court will issue a child support order dictating how much you will pay or receive. In most cases, this order requires wage garnishment, where the child support amount is immediately deducted from the payor’s paycheck and paid to the recipient. This means that it may be impossible to stop payments or modify them on your own, and you must go to court if you think that you are paying too much money or if you are not receiving high enough payments for your children’s needs.
The court can change child support orders if there is a significant and material change in circumstances. This means that there must be a big change that significantly affects one of the factors the court considers when looking at child support amounts. For instance, any of the following might be a significant and material change which would justify modifying a child support order:
- Either parent takes a higher paying job,
- Either parent must take a lower paying job,
- Either parent loses their job,
- Either parent has another child,
- Either parent moves in with a step-child,
- A child turns 18 or graduates from high school,
- A child develops a medical condition requiring additional support.
Carpinteria Child Support Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you want to receive child support or you are already subject to a child support order you want changed, contact a child support lawyer today. The Carpinteria child support attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth offer free consultations on child support cases. Contact our law offices at (805) 643-5555 today to schedule your free consultation.