Child support information – basic definition and how it determined?
Child support is a monthly payment made to a custodial parent from a non-custodial parent to help pay for a child’s living expenses and any other related debts. When parents are awarded joint custody, however, the support obligation is shared and may be based on several factors, including the amount of time each parent has custody and each parent’s income.
child support information- how the payment is calculated?
The factors used to calculate child support payments are set by law. In general, the law applies each parent’s income and the custodial parent’s living expenses, the specific needs of the child; health insurance, educational needs, and daycare expenses, and the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay. The information is downloaded in a standardized program and the amount of support that should be ordered is generated.
child support information – can the amount of the payment change over time?
Yes, if there is a change of circumstances for example; your income goes down, your ex-spouse has additional income from remarriage or you decide you want a higher percentage of custody. This, however, should be discussed with an attorney due to many factors involved in asking the court to change the support amount. Once ordered, the child support payment cannot change except by a change in the court order. A child support order can even be reversed if there is a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
child support information – how long should it be paid?
California requires parents to pay child support until the child has reached the age of majority, 18 years old or if they become emancipated, are adopted, married or enlist in the military.
Custodial or visitation rights are a different issue and one can not stop support payments because of a dispute over custody or visitation. However an attorney can file contempt of court against the parent holding back the child and depending on the facts, the custody arrangement could be changed which in turn would effect the amount of support ordered by the court.
child support information – what happens if the parent refuses to pay the court-ordered child support?
If a parent does not pay their child support the court may impose sanctions including garnishment of the parent’s wages or tax refund, fines, suspension of California drivers license, and even jail time.
child support information – is a father who never married the mother still required to pay child support?
Yes. Child support is not dependent upon the marital status of the parents, it is a financial obligation to the child. Once a child is born both parents are under the legal obligation to financially support their child.
child support information – what is a Putative Father?
A Putative Father is a man who may be a child’s father but is not married to the child’s mother or has not established his paternity of the child through an affidavit or court order. Until a father has established his paternity he does not have any parental rights over the child.
Child support information -I am still paying child support, but the children live with me now and our custody arrangement has changed. Do I have to keep paying?
Yes, and you need to immediately file a formal request with the court through a process called an order to show cause to modify the child support amount. Do not rely on verbal or even written agreements that are not signed by the court in these situations. The smartest, safest, and most effective way of ensuring that you are paying less support because the children now live with you is to seek a formal modification.
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