The cost of living in California is much higher than a majority of other states in the country; so when a family goes through a divorce or legal separation in the state, child support is almost always a key issue. For many children, divorce is often emotionally devastating. Having an unavoidable alteration in the family structure, however, should not be followed by a lessened quality of life. Often times, child support serves as a tool that would prevent children from becoming further victims in the family separation.
When it comes to determining child support, the State of California has issued guidelines that would help compute the amount of support a family needs. Still, it should be noted that these guidelines are not definitive and each individual case will be determined in a court of law.
Factors that Help Determine Child Support in California
The following are elements that will be considered by a court when determining child support payments. The main objective of every family court is the best interests of the minor(s).
- Each party’s income
- Each party’s degree of responsibility contributed to the care of the minor(s)
- Obligatory payroll deductions, such as retirement account deductions or union dues
- The socioeconomic standing of each parent
- The standard of living of each parent
- The disparities that exist between the non-custodial and custodial home that can be leveled with the appropriate support payments
- The approximate ability of each parent to pay for the child support
- The amount of children involved in the family
- Tax filing statuses from each party
- All child support obligations each party already holds
- Dental, medical, and healthcare expenses the parties cover
- The cost of child daycare
- The cost of travel for each party’s visitation
- Any educational expenses
- A child’s special necessities
Duration of Child Support in California
In California, court-ordered child support payments will be mandatory until the child reaches 18 years of age. In the event that the minor has not graduated from high school by the age of 18, payments will continue until the child has reached the age of 19. In some cases, an agreement can be set for the child support to continue even after the child has reached the age of 19. In these cases, a family court will likely enforce the support that was agreed on by both parties. For instance, the parents could agree to support the child as he or she pursues a higher education.
Enforcing a Support Order in California
The state takes this family law matter very seriously and is committed to assisting parents collect their support. There are laws set in place that will help to ensure that payments are made and are up to date. In spite of this, many parents choose to take matters into their own hands when one party fails to make payments. It is important to know that withholding a parent’s child visitation rights because of non-payment is unlawful in the State of California.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
The attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP have many years of experience helping families through child support matters. Whether you are seeking to petition for child support or are trying to collect support from the non-custodial parent, the family law attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP are equipped to guide you. Contact the firm today for a free case evaluation.