California Child Support- Guideline
The State of California has a mandated statutory guideline for the calculation of child support orders. This guideline is absolute save few very unique circumstances for deviation from the guideline.Guideline child support is calculated using a number of variables most notably: the number of children, the respective timeshares of the each parent with the children, the gross monthly income of each parent, the tax filing status of each parent, and certain other deductions including but not limited to health insurance premiums, mortgage interest, union dues, etc…
If your San Diego child support case makes it in front of a judge, the judge will use a computer program to calculate the guideline amount of child support. The number that the guideline calculation comes up with is the amount of child support that you will most likely recieve or pay.
The family law attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass can calculate your projected guideline child support order for you and make suggestions for maximizing your benefit while taking into consideration the factors that the court will consider in making the child support order.
Child Support Add-Ons
Child Support add-ons are additions to the guideline child support order over and above the monthly amount of support ordered.
Generally, a family law court will always order that each party cover 1/2 of all uninsured medical expenses including co-pays and deductibles as well as 1/2 of all child care expenses incurred as a result of either parent working or obtaining training to become employed.
Some parents also agree on additional child support add-ons. Common agreed upon add-ons include extracurricular activity expenses, school tuition, travel expenses and any other child expense. These expenses may or may not be ordered depending on the financial circumstances of the parties.
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Child Support Enforcement
California child support orders are the same as any other court order which means that violation of the order could result in both criminal and civil penalties against the child support obligor for non-payment.
There are many ways to enforce child support orders through private family law lawyers including the issuance of a wage garnishment, issuance of bank levy, and, in extreme circumstances, the filing of a quasi-criminal contempt action.
The State of California also employs the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to help in the enforcement of both California and out of State child support orders. Once a DCSS case is opened, the DCSS uses many enforcement measures in an effort to collect unpaid child support including driver’s license and professional license suspension, passport revocation, bank levies, tax return intercepts, and wage garnishments.
If you are having a difficult time enforcing a child support order in San Diego, Griffith Law can help you collect. If you are on the recieving end of collections measures and need relief, Griffith, Young & Lass can help you find a solution.
Child Support Modification
A guideline child support order can be modified upward or downward anytime there is a significant change in the circumstances of either party that would warrant a modification of the ordered amount for child support.
Whenever a modification is sought, it is imperative that a motion be filed at the earliest possible time as the modification will not take effect at any point earlier than the date that the motion is filed.
As such, if a child support obligor loses his or her job, recieves a significant cut in pay for whatever reason or there is a significant change in the timeshare percentage with the children; that person must file a motion to modify or he/she will face the possibility of being ordered to pay a child support amount that is unreasonably high considering the circumstances.
Attorneys John Griffith, Catie Young and Amy Lass have experience seeking child support modification orders in all San Diego Family Courts as well as in cases involving the Department of Child Support Services.
How is child support calculated?
California family courts use a guideline formula to calculate child support. The formula takes into consideration the incomes of both parents, the tax filing status of both parents, the timeshare percentage for child custody for each parent, any relevant deductions influencing disposable income available to include health insurance, child support paid for other children, union dues, mandatory retirement, etc…The formula also takes into consideration factors influencing each parents tax basis such as possible deductions for dependents, mortgage interest and property taxes.
How long does child support last?
Unless otherwise agreed to in writing between the parents, a parent’s obligation to provide child support ends when the minor children either turn 18 and have graduated from high-school or turn 19–whichever occurs first.
How does 50/50 custody affect child support?
A common misconception is that when the parents share child custody on a 50/50 basis that there is no child support order. This is not the case. In fact, even in a 50/50 custody arrangement, a guideline child support order will be made if the circumstances warrant. You will see this in a case where one parent makes a considerably higher income than the other.
What if I lose my job?
Call a child support lawyer and immediately file a motion to set child support at zero! The family court only has the ability to change your child support order from the day that a motion to modify is filed–no exceptions. The court will most likely modify the child support order to zero and order you to make job contacts until you find a job if you haven’t by the time of the hearing.
What is DCSS?
DCSS is the Department of Child Support Services. Just as the IRS represents the government’s interest in collecting our taxes, the DCSS represents the State of California’s interest in ensuring that child support is being paid and that children are being financially supported by both parents. A common misconception is that the DCSS represents the custodial parent in a child support case. This is not true. In fact, the DCSS often files motions on behalf of the non-custodial parent to reduce child support if the circumstances of the case warrant a reduction.
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