According to the California Department of Health and Human Services, child support is “money paid by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent for the support of a child or children.” In other words, if you have primary custody of your child or children, and the other parent does not, they may be required to pay child support to help cover the costs of raising your kids. At Martin Family Law Group, our child support lawyers in Los Angeles are standing by to assist you with your case. Call (310) 694-9533 to schedule your free case evaluation today.
Who Pays Child Support in California?
In the state of California, both parents are legally obligated to support their children financially. However, the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child) typically pays child support to the custodial parent.
How is Child Support Calculated in California?
In California, child support is typically calculated using a formula known as the “guideline calculation.” This formula takes into account each parent’s income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, any health insurance or childcare costs, and other factors. You can use the state’s official calculator tool to estimate how much child support you may be entitled to.
However, it’s important to note that the court always has the final say when it comes to awarding child support. The guideline calculation is used as a starting point, but under some circumstances, a judge may choose to deviate from it based on extenuating circumstances.
How to Enforce Child Support Payments in California
If you are a custodial parent in the state of California and the other parent has fallen behind on their child support payments, you have several options for enforcing the payment of those owed funds. Below are three ways that child support payments are enforced in California:
1. Income Withholding Order: An Income Withholding Order (IWO) is an order from the court that requires the non-custodial parent’s employer to withhold a certain amount from their paycheck each month and send it directly to the court. The court will then forward the funds to the custodial parent.
2. Lien on Property: If the non-custodial parent owns any property, such as a house or a car, the court can place a lien on that property. This means that the non-custodial parent will not be able to sell the property until they have paid off the outstanding child support debt.
3. Seizure of Property: In some cases, it may be possible to have the non-custodial parent’s property seized outright to pay off the child support debt. This is usually only possible if the non-custodial parent has significant assets, such as multiple properties or expensive possessions.
How to Modify Child Support in California
There are two ways to modify child support in California: through the court or through negotiation between the parents.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on their own, either parent can file a request with the court to have the child support order modified. The court will then review the facts of the case and make a determination as to whether or not a modification is warranted.
Some of the reasons why the court might modify a child support order include a change in circumstances such as:
One parent losing their job;
A significant change in income for one or both parents;
The amount of time each parent spends with the child changes; and
One parent remarries and has additional children.
Contact A Los Angeles Child Support Lawyer Today
We specialize in family law and can help you understand everything involved with child support payments. If you have questions, The Martin Family Law Group is here to help.
We are experienced family law attorneys who have been handling cases like yours for years.
Our Los Angeles divorce lawyers offer a free 45-minute consultation so that you can get to know us and we can get to know you and your case. We know that it’s important for you to be comfortable with your attorney, and we want to make sure we’re the right fit for you.