Establish a Fair Child Support Agreement
Child support is one of the many complex legal issues associated with family law and the divorce process. Legal matters relating to your children should be treated with special consideration as they can have long-term effects and consequences. The attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP, can provide strong representation and help you work toward an amicable solution. Our cohesive legal team is dedicated to providing our clients with the best advice for their family’s circumstances. We will always put your best interests at the forefront of all decisions and are confident that we can help you reach a positive resolution.
What is Child Support?
Child support is the amount of money a noncustodial parent must pay to a custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising their children. In joint custody cases, either both parents or in some cases, the parent with the higher income, may be required to pay child support. The purpose of these payments is to provide for food, clothing, medical care, education, and other living expenses of the child. Child support is not a permanent arrangement, as it is generally only required until the child turns 18 or when the child becomes self-supporting. However, parents can agree to extend support depending on the child’s needs.
What Are the Child Support Laws in California?
California law states that it is every parent’s responsibility to financially support his or her children. Both parents must sign a stipulation, or written agreement, that establishes the terms and amount of child support, which must then be approved and signed by a judge. The state has measures in place to enforce the terms of your agreement and will assist any parent in collecting monies owed. One of our attorneys can assist both parties in reaching an agreement and ensure payments are made.
Aspects That May Affect Payment Amount
In the state of California, parents must agree upon a payment amount as determined by the state’s child support guidelines. This amount of child support owed depends upon both parents’ net disposable income which takes into consideration:
- Unemployment benefits
- Social Security benefits
- Spousal support
You may also deduct taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory union dues, and other expenses. Situational factors can also affect child support payment, including:
- Amount of time the child spends at each residence
- Number of children who need support
- Daycare and travel costs
- Costs of raising children from a previous relationship
Changing your child support agreement may be an option if the noncustodial parent loses his or her job, has another child, or is no longer able to afford the payment. The parents may agree to a higher or lower amount than what is suggested by the guideline, as long as this amount is approved by a judge. Calculating the appropriate amount of child support can be difficult. To ensure you are calculating the correct amount and do not incur financial hardship, you should consult a professional.