Ventura Child Support Attorney for Aunts and Uncles
Child custody can be granted to people other than a child’s birth parents under certain circumstances. Especially if someone like an aunt or uncle seeks custody on a temporary basis, as part of a guardianship or because the parents are unable to care for their own children, a court may be willing to award the aunt or uncle custody of their nieces or nephews. Any time a child lives apart from a parent, the parent may be required to pay child support to help care for the needs and costs of raising the child in another household.
If you are an aunt or uncle seeking custody of your niece or nephew, talk to our Ventura, CA child support attorneys for aunts and uncles to discuss seeking child support payments for their care. Especially if you have your own children in your household, caring for their cousins as well can become expensive and require additional funds to support your whole family.
Child Support Amounts for Aunts and Uncles
When the court grants child custody, it needs to determine how much should be paid in child support. Especially if the parent with primary custody has other children living in their household or does not or cannot work to support the children, child custody may be necessary to ensure that the children have clothes on their back and food on their table.
Child support amounts depend on many factors, including the incomes of the parents and the people who have custody. In the case of an aunt or an uncle (or both) who have custody, the aunt and uncle’s income will be compared with the parents’ income. Typically, aunts and uncles take custody of children in cases only if the parents are not able to support the children on their own, which often means that the parent may have little income or assets they can use to pay child support. Some of the other factors that courts look at when calculating child support include the following:
- How many children the recipient and payor have to support
- Each party’s income
- Each party’s expenses, such as rent
- Extraordinary care costs for children with disabilities
- The parents’ healthcare needs and expenses
Courts will ensure that the noncustodial parents first have minimum income to support themselves. Then, additional income will be put toward care for the children through child support payments. Under California law, the decisions for the amount of child support should take into account the parents’ standard of living, meaning that wealthy parents who lose custody of their children may be required to pay higher child support to support a higher standard of living.
If a parent is supposed to pay child support, but they have very low income, the court may adjust their support obligation to a lower payment. In cases where the parent has no assets or income, it may be impossible for the court to order child support. Talk to a lawyer about how much support you may be entitled to in your case.
Modifying Child Support Orders
California law allows both the payor and recipient of child support payments to modify the order later if any of the factors used in determining the initial support payments. If either family gains another child or if a child turns 18 and graduates, support amounts may change drastically. Support obligations can also change if any of the adults lose their job or take another job that changes their income amounts. Other substantial changes, such as moving to a cheaper residence or developing a health problem that requires excessive healthcare costs can also affect these factors and justify modifying support amounts. You must go to court to get any changes approved.
Child Support in Adoption Cases Involving Aunts and Uncles
Child custody and support cases are different from adoption cases. Many families who want to move children to another household may turn to adoption rather than custody. In those cases, the birth parents’ legal parenthood is severed, and the new parents take over all obligations. In cases where an aunt or uncle adopts their niece or nephew, they typically have no right to claim child support from the birth parents.
In cases where an aunt or uncle is granted custody of their niece or nephew rather than adopting, child support may be possible. Child support may also be available in cases of guardianships where an aunt or uncle takes over temporary care as the child’s legal guardian while the parents are undergoing medical care or living in another location. Talk to an attorney before making any legal decisions on how to take over custody and care for your niece or nephew to ensure that you are still entitled to child support.
Call Our Ventura, CA Child Support Lawyers for Aunts and Uncles to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation
If you are considering adopting or taking custody of your niece or nephew, talk to an attorney before making any decisions. The Ventura child support lawyers for aunts and uncles at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth represent aunts and uncles in child custody and support cases to help them maximize their legal rights and child support payments. For help with the legal aspects of taking on custody of your sibling’s children, call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.