Santa Barbara, CA Child Support Attorney for Fathers
Going through a divorce can be difficult. This is especially true when there are children involved during the separation process. Every year, thousands of parents visit the courts to fight over their children’s custody and support. The child support process can be complicated, especially when both parents lack experience in such matters.
The situation can worsen when there contentious subjects, such as alimony and spousal support, are in discussion. You don’t have to go through this time alone. Our Santa Barbara child support lawyers can help you by upholding your rights as a father. To learn more about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC., at (805) 643-5555.
Who Pays Child Support?
Child support is a payment made in favor of a child or children by one of their parents. This is commonly seen in divorce and separation cases. This helps alleviate the burden of one parent being a child’s sole provider. Both parents are responsible for providing everything their children need to develop and reach their fullest potential. The purpose behind child support is to provide a child with his/her basic needs. These needs include food, shelter, clothing, education, and other necessities.
The noncustodial parent, the parent without custody, usually makes child support payments. The noncustodial parent must pay child support to his/her child or children even when they have no contact with them.
Many families have stepparents and stepchildren. In the event of a divorce, the stepfather or stepmother is not obligated to provide a stepchild with child support payments. Instead, child support is generally required for a parent’s genetic children or legally adopted children. If a stepparent legally adopts their spouse’s child, they may have to pay child support in the event of a divorce, especially if the child has no second living parent.
How Do Courts Determine Child Support in California?
Every state has its own formula to calculate the amount of child support a parent has to pay. In California, The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) sets forth the guidelines to determine the amount of child support to be granted to a child. You can also use the California Guideline Child Support Calculator to help you calculate projected payments. This is an online tool designed to use the guidelines and calculate a child support payment.
The child support guidelines are based on different elements. For instance, the court will contemplate each parent’s monthly net income to assign a payment amount. The parents’ monthly net income includes earnings from different sources, such as the following:
- Disability Benefits
- Social Security Benefits
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Usually, the court determines the parent’s monthly net income after necessary income deductions such as taxes, health premiums, and other subtractions.
How Can a Child Support Attorney Help You?
Dealing with California’s child custody and child support systems can be complicated. This is especially true for fathers who have never been involved in a contentious case before. Our experienced child support attorneys can help you navigate the process. Some of the things we can help you with during your child support include the following:
Child Support Payments
Having a lawyer by your side while negotiating your child support payments is essential. In some instances, the child support payments may place a father in a dire situation. We will fight to make sure the court and all other involved parties follow the child support guidelines according to California law.
Child Support Modifications
Rather than paying amounts you cannot afford, your child support payments can be modified after it is set. Generally, the courts can adjust the amount of money you pay for your children if you can demonstrate, there has been a significant change in your financial circumstances that justify a modification. Things like getting a new job – or the other parent getting another job – can adjust your income and justify lower payments. A knowledgeable attorney can help you during every step of a child support modification hearing.
Ending Child Support
You usually must continue paying child support until the court says you can stop. This typically occurs when your child turns 18 or graduates from high school – whichever comes first. If your child is still in high school by age 19, you may be able to get child support ended immediately. In some cases, child support extends beyond 18, especially if your child has special needs. Talk to an attorney about this kind of situation.
Ventura Child Custody Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
A divorce can change your entire life. Not only can it put you under a heavy financial burden, but it can also hurt you emotionally. However, you still need to provide for your kids no matter how dire your situation may be. The courts will always put the child’s well-being over anything else. That is why we dedicate our practice to defending and upholding your rights as a father. Our knowledgeable child support lawyers at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth can fight aggressively to ensure your child’s support needs are not unreasonably high. To learn more about your case in a free consultation, call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.