Child Support Issues
When two people decide to part ways and have shared children together, they may then have to get into a very emotionally charged dispute about child support. Resentments, anger and even hostility can quickly arise, especially if one parent feels the child support amount is not fair. Parents that are having trouble weaving through the legalities of a child support battle, may turn to a child support lawyer familiar with family law cases in the Walnut Creek, CA area to represent them, such as from the Law Office of Ariel Brownell. The most important factor in child support, is whether or not the children are getting everything they need to live a happy and healthy life.
If you’re divorcing or separating and have minor children, you should speak to a child support lawyer Walnut Creek CA residents rely on. Who will pay, how they will pay, and what happens with the money are just a few questions parents have. This is a stressful topic, to say the least. While it is no surprise to know one parent will likely have to pay, not everyone knows the factors courts consider to determine the amount of child support. When you need a child support lawyer in Walnut Creek CA that you can trust, count on the Law Office of Ariel Brownell. With years of successful support resolutions, we have forged a clear understanding of what is required and how our local courts handle support matters; we can handle your matter efficiently as possible.
What is Child Support? Both parents of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances (CA Family Code section 3900). This duty continues as to an unmarried minor child until he or she completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 19 years, whichever occurs first (CA Family Code section 3901).
Child support exists solely to support the upbringing of children. Raising kids is expensive, child support offers a way to help ensure that each parent is contributing and supporting the child financially. Two common factors used to determine who makes payments are the income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with their child. Other factors include: the needs of the child, such as health insurance, schooling, day care, and any applicable special needs unique to the child; the income and needs of the custodial parent; the paying parent’s financial ability to contribute, and; the standard of living the child experienced before the separation of the parents. The ultimate goal of support is to maintain a level of normalcy for the child.
Child Support can be paid through an intermediate service that the paying parent pays into. The receiving parent then receives these amounts automatically. This type of arrangement prevents the types of conflict that can arise when people begin to withhold child support as a retaliation or to demonstrate anger toward the other parent. Some parents maintain a level of trust such that payments can be made directly from one parent to the other.
For any parent that is new to separation and support issues, it is imperative that you share all the details of what you know of your income and expenses as well as those of the other parent so that your child support lawyer can help you protect your interests in this difficult time.
An experienced child support lawyer from the Walnut Creek, California area has received these questions from parents negotiating the terms of child support about the process:
How do courts determine child support amounts?
Each state has established their own rules for calculating how much in child support is to be paid. Factors that can influence the amount include the income of each parent and the amount of living expenses they have. A judge may have more or less leeway on setting an amount, based on the flexibility of state laws. Other factors that are likely to be taken into consideration when child support is calculated includes:
- The needs of the children, including medical care, school supplies, daycare, clothing, and other needs
- The income of the parent receiving child support
- The ability of the paying parent to meet child support needs
Will I need to provide information about my finances?
In Walnut Creek, CA, child support lawyers know that it is very likely that the court judge will request statements related to how much you make per month, in addition to living expenses. The court may require that each parent fills out a statement that provides an accurate overall depiction of their financial status.
Will the court judge factor in standard of living during the marriage?
A child support lawyer in Walnut Creek, CA has seen the court likely is to also consider the standard of living the children had during the marriage, so they can continue living in such an environment if possible. However, a court judge probably understands the new financial difficulties each parent may endure due to the separation. Those who are transitioning from a dual income household to a single income home, may not be able to afford a lavish lifestyle.
Is the judge going to factor in my earning potential, or current income?
In the majority of states, the court judge is going to examine the parent’s earning potential in combination with what he or she is really earning. While the current earnings are important, it may not determine how much is paid in child support if the parent could be earning more if they chose to. If a parent does any of the following, the ability to earn rather than current income, may weigh heavier in the judge’s ultimate decision:
- He or she leaves current job and chooses to apply for law, medical or veterinary school
- He or she accepts a job that is of a much lower pay, but has a high likelihood of pay increases in the future
- He or she accepts a job that pays less, but offers higher job satisfaction
It is important to speak with an experienced child support lawyer from the Walnut Creek, CA area to answer any questions you may have. At the Law Office of Ariel Brownell, we are dedicated to your child’s health and happiness, and will hard to try and achieve the best possible outcome for them.
Because child support and custody can be so intertwined, it’s important to make sure you are working with someone who has a comprehensive overview of your matter when seeking a child support lawyer in Walnut Creek. A shift in custody, the remarriage of your former spouse, a move across town, a change in job circumstances for either party, or a receipt of a windfall of money can change the entire situation in ways that you did not expect.
Divorce and separation with kids is a trying time full of questions, fear, and confusion. When you seek a child support lawyer in Walnut Creek CA, call the Law Office of Ariel Brownell. Ariel has the knowledge, skill, expertise, and compassion to guide you through.