Child custody, support and visitation arrangements are often the most hotly contested issues in divorce litigation and settlements in Los Angeles. With the cost of living in Los Angeles being so high, establishing the appropriate payment of child support from one parent to the other is one of the most important steps divorced or divorcing parents will have to take. When dealing with child support issues in California, it helps to have a knowledgeable Los Angeles child support attorney on your side who can help you navigate what can be a confusing and frustrating process. If you are seeking to establish child support in Los Angeles, or defend against a support action, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles today at (213) 550-4600 for a free initial consultation.
Affordable Los Angeles Child Support Attorney
Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have experience protecting the rights of divorced parents in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, and we strive to represent each child support case with the same compassion and close attention to detail we would if it was our own family’s well-being at stake. After all, calculating the proper child support payment is critical to ensuring your child has a comfortable upbringing. Unfortunately, procuring the amount of support your child deserves isn’t always easy. Our Los Angeles family law attorneys understand the importance of establishing an appropriate child support agreement and will work tirelessly throughout your case to help you and your family get the best possible outcome. Whether a workable and amicable agreement can be reached outside of court, or your case goes to trial, having an L.A. family law lawyer on your side can significantly improve your chances of a favorable conclusion with regard to child support.
Understanding Your Right to Child Support in California
When married parents with children divorce or legally separate, the court may order the “noncustodial” parent, or the parent with whom the child does not live, to contribute a certain portion of his or her income as child support. Under California law, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to supporting a minor child and are legally obligated to provide for their child until he or she reaches the age of 19, or longer, if the circumstances call for continued support. In the state of California, the payment of child support is regulated by California Family Code § 4055, or the Statewide Uniform Guidelines for Determining Child Support, and the following formula has been developed for the calculation of child support:
CS = K[HN – (H%)(TN)]
In the formula, CS represents child support, H% is the percentage of time the high-earning parent will have primary responsibility for the child, K is a fraction representing the allocation of income by both parents towards child support, TN is the total net monthly disposable income of both parents, and HN is the high-earning parent’s net monthly disposable income. In some cases, rather than using the formula to calculate child support, the court will order the other parent to pay the minimum amount of support defined in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act, which puts the “minimum basic standards of adequate care” at $341.
How to File for Child Support in Los Angeles
The regulation of child support is an important issue among divorced or divorcing parents in Los Angeles, and the amount of child support owed by one parent to the other depends on a number of factors, including:
- How much money the parents earn or can earn;
- How many children the parents have together;
- How much time each parent spends with the children;
- Health insurance expenses;
- The actual tax filing status of each parent;
- The support of children from other relationships;
- Mandatory retirement contributions;
- Mandatory union dues; and
- The cost of sharing daycare and uninsured healthcare costs.
Parents may also be required to share the costs of childcare, reasonable healthcare expenses, educational needs, traveling for visitation from one parent to the other, and other special needs. In some cases, the court may require additional contribution from the noncustodial parent, either to improve the child’s standard of living, or to eliminate disparity between the parents’ households, or may reduce a parent’s required contribution due to financial hardship. In the case of an unmarried mother seeking child support, the first step may involve legally establishing the father’s paternity of the child. Once paternity is established, the court will then issue an order for the payment of child support.
To set up a new child support order for your children, you or the other parent must request a court order, either directly from the court or through the state’s child support agency. If child support is a point of contention between two parents in the middle of divorce proceedings, the court can make a temporary order for the payment of support while the proceedings are pending. To request a court date on child support, the parent requesting the order must fill out a Request for Order form and an Income and Expense Declaration form, file the forms with the court clerk, and then serve the papers on the other parent, before the hearing can occur. Once the judge makes a decision at the child support hearing, the court order will be signed and the case will be registered in a national registry to help with enforcing the child support settlement. Once a Los Angeles child support order or agreement is in place, the payment amount is rarely altered, unless the parent’s earning ability or the child’s financial needs change enough to prompt a modification.
How an Experienced Los Angeles Child Support Attorney Can Help
Given that the well-being of a child is at stake, child support is an important concern, which is why enlisting the help of a reputable Los Angeles family law lawyer is critical in such cases. An attorney with experience in family law can help parents in Los Angeles obtain an order for child support and can assist in enforcing the order once it’s been issued. Whether you are the parent seeking child support or the parent disputing a support action, it is our goal to help you reach a fair resolution with the other party. Our attorneys also have the skill and resources necessary to represent either parent in a child support modification proceeding or in a proceeding to establish or disprove paternity. We understand all sides of the child support issue and will use our extensive knowledge and experience in family law to help you reach a fast and fair resolution to your case.
Free Child Support Consultation in Los Angeles
Child support laws in California can be confusing, especially for those without a comprehensive background in family law. Whether you are seeking an increase in support payments from your child’s other parent, or you have to decrease your child support responsibility due to job loss, disability or another substantial change in your financial situation, Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles can help. Our knowledgeable Los Angeles family law attorneys have extensive experience handling complex child custody and child support matters, and we are committed to protecting your legal rights and the best interest of your family should your case go to court. For more information about your child support and child custody and visitation rights in California, contact Divorce Lawyer Los Angeles today at (213) 550-4600.