California Child Support Overview
We wrote this California child support introduction in easy way in order for you to get a general understanding about child support and changing the child support order.
If you are divorcing and have children, it is important that you understand California child support law. The best way to prepare to get the legal advise about California child support is to gather as much general information as possible and then ask questions that are applicable to your situation.
The explanations on this page are not intended to be a legal advice. After you read it, you might consider to visiting an attorney ask questions about California child support applicable to your situation.
Under Family Code 3900, both parents of a minor children have joint, several, equal duty to support their children.
This duty extends to adopted children because the adopting parents and child or children are in the legal relationship of parent and child, and have all the rights and are subject to all the duties of that relationship.
The marital status of a child’s parents does not affect their support duty. The parentage of a children is a factor determinant of who has a child support obligation.
California child support could be extended for a child who has reached the age of 18 but who is still a full-time high school student.
If a custodial parent is actively concealing a child, the non-custodian parent could be y justified to be relieved from the support obligor. If non custodian parent cannot find child with custodian parent he can assert defense of non-payment. However, a noncustodial parent must be able to show that he or she made reasonably diligent efforts to locate the missing custodial parent and children.
If a custodial parent is actively concealing a child, the non-custodian parent could be y justified to be relieved from the support obligor. If non-custodian parent cannot find child with custodian parent he can assert defense of non-payment. However, a noncustodial parent must be able to show that he or she made reasonably diligent efforts to locate the missing custodial parent and children.
The parent could bring civil proceeding for child support even without filing for divorce or legal separation under CA Family Code 4000. When parent has a duty to support child, the parent can bring an action to enforce this duty.
Under Family Code § 17400, local child support agency can bring action to establish child support as well.
Another proceeding to establish California child support is under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. Family Code 6341 governs the establishment under this proceeding.
California Family Code 4053 has ten provisions governing California Child support
The basic ideas of this code are
- California child support law is based on the presumption that both parents have to support their minor children as much as their circumstances allow.
- Parent’s income and the time spent with each child are factors in determination of California child support.
- California is an expensive state, when parents separate, it is is generally more difficult to maintain the same standard of living. The best interest of children and keeping them comfortable with both parents is considered in computation of California child support.
- California child support will typically be assigned to the parent living with the children so that they would not be harmed by living with the parent with lower income.
- The children will get child support through private parent resources as much as possible.
- Child support guidelines are designed to minimize litigation by a fair and standardized approach to child support calculation.
- The children’s interest is the first priority; both parents must use the their best ability and skill to support the children’s needs reflecting California’s high costs of raising children and California’s high standard of living.
CHANGING CHILD SUPPORT ORDER
Some of the most common reasons for changing California child support order are :
- Loss of employment
- Closing a business
- Reduction of income from investment
- Changes in the division of time spent caring for children
- The party receiving child support has a significant increase in his/her income
- If one parent is jailed
- A child’s needs change
PROCESS OF ESTABLISHMENT CHILD SUPPORT ORDER IN DIVORCE
In order to establish child support in the divorce a party who is filing for the divorce must file a Petition, Judicial Council Form FL-100 or Petition-Domestic Partnership, Judicial Council Form FL-103. The other party, unless he or she decides not to controvert the petition, must file a Response-Marriage , Judicial Council Form FL-120 or Response-Domestic Partnership, Judicial Council Form FL-123.
PROCESS OF CHANGING CHILD SUPPORT ORDER
File a Request for Order with supporting documents including:
- Parent’s income and expenses
- Unemployment information
- Prison status
- Custody and visitation arrangements
- Disability information
- Retirement income
The other parent must be served with:
A copy of the forms that you have filed and a “responsive” declaration to request the change of California child support order.
A parent who wants to respond to a Request for Order seeking child support must file a Responsive Declaration to Request for Order indicating whether consent or lack of consent to each item of the order requested.
A responsive declaration and related papers must be filed and served on the moving party at least 9 court days before the hearing.
If a child support agency is involved, it must be properly served as well.
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