Ventura Child Support Attorney for Grandparents
Many families see grandparents raising their grandchildren as the primary parent in the household. In some of these situations, the parents may be unable to care for the children on a day-to-day basis, or a parent may be deceased. Grandparents may need additional financial support for their grandkids to help them get the housing, food, and other necessities they need.
If you are a grandparent caring for your grandchildren, you may be eligible to file for child support from the biological parent or parents to help fund your grandkids’ care. For help with your grandparent child support case, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Our Ventura child support attorneys for grandparents can help you file your case and get the support your grandchildren need. Call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555 to schedule your free consultation.
When Can Grandparents Claim Child Support in California?
Before getting child support, grandparents must get custody or guardianship over their grandchildren. Courts may grant grandparents custody or a guardianship if the parents are unfit to continue to care for their children, but grandparents can also receive custody through an agreement with the parents or if one of the biological parents is deceased and the grandparents will continue raising the children.
Any parent with custody is eligible to claim child support from the other parents. Whether a biological parent has custody of the children or not, they may still be obligated to make child support payments, even if they are estranged from the children or have no visitation rights. Therefore, grandparents with custody can claim child support from a biological parent by nature of having custody.
Just as any other parent raising their children can claim child support from the other parent, so can grandparents. However, this also means that the other parent could claim child support from you. Courts award child support to the parent or other party that needs it most. This usually means that the parent with lower income and at least joint physical custody receives support payments. If parenting is split between paternal grandparents and the biological mother or maternal grandparents and the biological father, there is always a possibility that the grandparent makes more money to put toward supporting the child than the parent does. In that case, the grandparent may actually be ordered to pay child support rather than receive it.
In any case, the court looks at multiple factors to determine who pays and who receives child support. The parenting time split and the relative incomes of each party are the most important factors since they dictate how much the parent will pay out-of-pocket while the child lives in their house, and they dictate each party’s overall ability to pay. Moreover, factors like the number of children supported and parents’ and children’s individual needs (e.g., high health care costs), are also important factors the court considers before awarding anyone child support.
How Do I Receive Child Support in CA as a Grandparent?
Child support orders are usually handled at the same time as child custody orders.; it is rare for a court to award child custody without determining how the child will be supported. If you have not yet filed for an official custody order and are caring for your grandchildren informally, getting your grandparent rights solidified and formalized in court is the first step toward claiming support. If you are considering seeking custody, you must do that first before you can claim support.
When you file a petition for child support, the court will look at the various factors and determine how much you should be entitled to receive in support. The order will dictate how much should be paid and when it should be paid.
In California, collection and enforcement are handled primarily by the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) and a Local Child Support Agency (LCSA). If you have problems receiving the child support you are entitled to or you need additional support, your attorney may be able to handle these issues through these departments or by filing for child support modification with the court.
Most child support payments are paid through wage garnishment in California. This means that payments should be automatically extracted directly from the payor’s paychecks or bank accounts. This means you should never have to rely on the payor writing or mailing a check on time, and payments can be sent to you automatically.
If the support you are receiving is not high enough, you may be able to file for child support modification. If there is a substantial change to one or more of the factors for calculating child support, such as if the payor takes a higher paying job, you may be entitled to receive more support. Talk to a lawyer about filing for modification.
Call for a Free Consultation with Our Ventura, CA Child Support Lawyers for Grandparents
If you are a grandparent considering seeking custody or child support for your grandkids, call the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Our child support lawyers for grandparents may be able to help you file your claims and petitions in courts and get you the support payments you need. Call our law offices today to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation on your case. Our number is (805) 643-5555.