Walnut Creek Child Support Lawyers
Whenever there are children involved in a divorce case, one of the parents will most likely be ordered by the court to pay child support to the other parent. The cost of living is taken into consideration when establishing the amount to be paid. If you are seeking child support in your divorce case or hoping to defend yourself against such action, Strong Family Law can help. Our Walnut Creek law firm serves the entire state of California.
Purpose of Monthly Payments
We have extensive experience in child support and divorce cases. Our law firm’s goal is to help clients achieve a solution that is fair and reasonable. Monthly support payments are intended to help the custodial parent cover the costs of raising their children. (In this case, “custodial parent” refers to the parent the child or children live with the majority of the time.)
Consequently, the “non-custodial” parent is the one who usually pays child support and spends less time with the child/children. However, there are some cases where both parents will be ordered by the court to make payments. The norm is for a parent to make monthly payments until the child/children reach 18 years of age. But as always, there could be exceptions to this rule such as continuing support payments until the child reaches 19 years of age if she or he still lives with a parent and hasn’t graduated from high school yet.
Circumstances or situations where the child support period could be shortened occur when the child:
- becomes self-supporting
- enters a domestic partnership
- gets married
- joins the military
Strong Family Law has also seen instances when both parents have agreed to pay support for a longer period of time such as when a child is disabled and unable to work. In this case, a child has no means of supporting him or herself and there is still a cost to raising the child. As a result, a judge may order the child support payments to continue.
Ability to Contribute
Where child support payments are concerned, parents normally contribute according to their ability. While the goal is to ensure that the custodial parent has the financial ability to raise the child in the absence of the other parent, it is also intended to raise their standard of living and eliminate any financial disparity between both parents’ households. In fact, the courts may order additional support in these circumstances. Conversely, in limited circumstances, a parent may be able deduct for a hardship on their Federal tax return, such as when they have experienced a catastrophic loss.
Modifications to Child Support
Child support orders can be modified or terminated by the court at any time. However, there are limitations where this is concerned. Modifying or terminating monthly support entails a relatively simple process; the two most common reasons for modification or termination are:
- Income changes – when one of the parents experiences a change in income such as a significant decrease or increase in their wages
- Timeshare changes – when one of the parents spends significantly less or more time with the child/children
Regardless, divorce and child support are not issues that you should attempt to handle on your own. It pays to seek legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney. Save yourself time, money and emotional distress by working with Strong Family Law. Fill out any of our online forms to schedule a free consultation.