Ventura Child Support Attorney for Fathers
Child support is often one of the biggest family law issues that a father faces when their children live in a different household. After having a child or getting divorced or separated from the child’s mother, you may be ordered to pay child support to help offset the cost of your child living in a different household.
In many cases, child support orders ask for too much money, or the court continues to expect child support after significant changes that should reduce your child support payments. For help fighting a child support order or for help filing for reduced child support, contact the Ventura child support lawyers for fathers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth. To set up a free consultation on your case, contact us online or call us today at (805) 643-5555.
Who Pays Child Support in Joint Custody Cases
Many people think that fathers always pay child support, and they think that any time the mother gets custody of the kids that the father will need to pay child support. While most family situations do see some level of child support ordered, this support is not automatic and should be tied to the specifics of the case before a court orders child support.
Courts typically award child support to the “custodial parent.” When courts award custody, they award two types: legal custody (the right to make decisions in your child’s life) and physical custody (the right to have your children live in your household). When parents have joint physical custody, one parent typically has the children for more than half the year, and they are known as the “custodial parent,” or they are said to have “primary custody.”
When a parent has a child living in their household, they typically pay for expenses out-of-pocket, so a parent who has the children for a longer part of the year ends up paying more out-of-pocket expenses. Since the custodial parent usually pays more out-of-pocket, the other parent is expected to contribute child support to offset those costs fairly.
However, child support also depends on the resources each parent has. If the custodial parent is a stay-at-home mom, then they may have no income to contribute to child support, and the other parent would be responsible for the full cost of support. However, the opposite is also true: if the custodial parent has enough income to support the children and the noncustodial parent has limited or no income, the other parent may pay only minimal child support or may not be asked to pay anything.
How Much is Child Support in CA?
The process of calculating child support is often very complex. Not only is the division of parenting time and each parent’s income important to the calculation, but the number of children each parent supports as well as the needs and expenses for each household are also vital factors.
Many fathers who pay child support have blended families and may have children in their household from another relationship or may pay support for multiple children. If you have more children to support, the court should not expect you to pay high support costs to each household, and you may be entitled to reduced child support.
However, if you have any children with special needs or increased costs for health care, disabilities, or education, you may be expected to fairly contribute to those costs as well.
If your current child support order is based on old income information, if you have another child, or if any other factors change that would affect the calculated child support cost, you may be entitled to have the child support order changed for reduced child support. Talk to an attorney about filing a petition for modification of child support.
How Does Child Support Work if the Father Has No Job?
After being fired or injured at work, you may not have the income to help pay for child support. You may also be a stay-at-home father in another household or take an extended leave of absence from work for various reasons. If you have no income or low income, the court should take this into account and modify your child support order.
Courts should always leave a parent enough income to support themselves, and ordering child support may be impossible if the father has no or limited income. However, if the father quit their job to avoid paying child support or has other assets that can supply child support payments, the court may leave child support orders intact.
If you fail to pay child support for any reason, you could face serious consequences including penalties for contempt of a court order. Because of this, it is vital to talk to an attorney if you lost your job or need your child support canceled or reduced for any reason rather than resorting to self-help by refusing to pay.
California Child Support Attorneys Offering Free Consultations for Fathers
If your ex or the mother of your children is demanding child support, you should speak with an attorney for help understanding the calculations and processes that go into determining child support amounts. If you recently lost your job or had another child, you may also be entitled to reduced child support. For a free consultation on your child support case, contact the Ventura child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today by calling us at (805) 643-5555.