San Diego Child Support Attorneys
Child Support in California
California’s cost of living is higher than that in most states; so when a couple divorces in our state, child support is a central issue. Divorce is often emotionally devastating for children. The unavoidable upset at a major alteration in family structure should not be compounded by a diminished quality of life. The goal of the law in California and our San Diego child support lawyers is to ensure that children do not become victims in a divorce. The expectation is that their lifestyle should, to the greatest extent possible, continue without major changes.
The state issues guidelines for computing support, which are updated periodically. It is always beneficial to have a child support attorney in San Diego to assist you when child support payments are being set. Although state guidelines are presumptive and in the absence of any argument to the contrary they will be applied by the courts, they are not etched in stone. The law has some flexibility and the court will consider individual circumstances when establishing the amount of support payments, so legal counsel is always advisable.
Determining a Child Support Award in California
These are some of the factors that go into the determination of child support payments in California, with the interests of the children having top priority:
- Each parent’s income and the amount of responsibility each contributes to the care and raising of the children
- Mandatory payroll deductions, for example union dues and retirement account deductions
- The parent’s circumstances, socioeconomic standing, and standard of living
- Disparities between the custodial and non-custodial home that may be leveled by appropriate support payments
- The relative ability of each parent to pay for the children’s support
- The number of children from the marriage or relationship
- The tax filing status of each of the parents
- Child support obligations from other relationships
- Medical, dental, and other healthcare expenses and cost of health insurance premiums
- Cost of daycare
- Cost of travel for visitation
- Educational expenses
- A child’s special needs
Duration of Child Support in California
In California, child support payments are mandatory until the child’s 18th birthday. However, if the child has not graduated from high school by that time, payments must continue until the child turns 19. If an agreement is in place as a part of the divorce that child support will continue beyond the child’s 19th birthday, the courts will generally enforce it. For example, if it is anticipated that the child will attend college, graduate school, or professional school, divorcing parents may make an agreement that support will continue throughout the period when the child is pursuing higher education.
Enforcing a Child Support Order
California takes child support very seriously and will assist a parent in collecting arrears. The state has laws in place to ensure that payments are kept up to date and arrears in payment are collected.
It is important to understand, however, that withholding child visitation rights because of non-payment of support is not a legal option for the parent trying to gain leverage in order to enforce payment. If you are not receiving your child support payments in a timely manner, your attorney can assist you in taking the proper steps that the law provides.
Child Support through Wage Withholding in the U.S.
Data used from the Office of Child Support Enforcement
Legal Help in Child Support Matters
In San Diego, the family attorneys at the Boyd Law Firm are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the application of child support laws in the state and have substantial experience in assisting parents in getting an appropriate award and enforcing the payment of support.
At Boyd Law, we understand your concerns about being able to provide an appropriate lifestyle for your children. Let Boyd Law take care of the legal side to your child support issues to ensure that the award is appropriate and fair and will allow your children to grow and thrive, with all the same opportunities they would have had if the marriage had survived. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact Boyd Law today to arrange a time to meet with us to discuss your child support matter.