One of the most challenging aspects of divorce or the end of a non-marital relationship is dividing a single household’s finances into two. Parents naturally want to minimize the impact of a breakup on their children. California child support laws are designed to help.
In California, child support is set according to California Child Support Guidelines, a formula that takes into account both parents’ income or earning capacity and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. Support is typically paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent.
The court can deviate from the child support formula when special circumstances exist. This may include extra medical attention required by a child, special education needs or many other factors.
At the Law Office of Ralph L. Williams in Vista, we assist residents of north San Diego County with child support and other family law matters. While child support is set by a mathematical formula, there are many parts of this process that should be reviewed by a knowledgeable family law attorney in order to protect your interests, whether you expect to receive child support payments or pay them.
We work closely with our clients to ensure that accurate income figures are used. If a parent owns his or her own business, or is a seasonal worker, determining annual income becomes more complex. If necessary, we use forensic accountants and other financial specialists to assist in determining the proper income number to use.
As with child custody issues, we strive to help our clients reach agreement regarding child support without the need to litigate. There are occasions when parents cannot agree to child support terms, however. In these cases, we are always prepared to advocate for our clients and protect their interests in court.
If you are not receiving court-ordered child support, we can help you file an enforcement petition. A parent who is not paying court-ordered child support may have his or her wages garnished and may face criminal charges as well.
We also assist clients with petitions to modify existing child support payments if circumstances warrant. A custodial or noncustodial parent may request a child support modification. Some common reasons to modify child support include long-term unemployment, increased medical or educational expenses for a child, or changes to the custodial arrangement.
An experienced lawyer like Ralph L. Williams can take the confusion and the stress out of child support matters. Contact us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We will answer your questions and recommend the best course of action. We can be reached at 760-726-3540 or through our convenient online contact form. Our office is located across from Vista Court house, take Easement road off the East side of So. Melrose Drive at traffic signal opposite Starbuck and on same side of street as Jack In the Box and Petco.