Rancho Cucamonga Child Support Lawyer
Child support can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce. While it is meant to be for the best interests of the child, financial and emotional issues often take center stage in child support. The party collecting child support may worry about late payments, enforcing the support agreement, or receiving enough support to live comfortably. The party paying child support may worry about making steady payments or keeping up with a regular visitation schedule.
Apart from those concerns, child support can be difficult to calculate and agree on. Each family situation requires a different set of considerations, and each family will develop a unique child support and visitation arrangement.
Soheila Azizi and Associates, P.C. is proud to be your law firm for life. Our experienced family law attorneys understand that each family is different, and each situation requires a unique solution. If you are dealing with child support issues, call (909) 484-9992 or contact us online to speak with one of our family law attorneys today.
About Child Support
The California Department of Child Support Services defines child support as “the ongoing monetary expenditures and payments necessary to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.”
When parents divorce, both parties are still required to support the child. If one parent is given sole legal or physical custody, typically the other parent is required to make payments to the parent who has custody. If the parents have joint custody of the child, the child support arrangement will depend on the parents’ earnings and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
California courts can take a number of things into consideration when determining child support, including:
- Health insurance
- The child’s educational arrangement
- The child’s day care arrangement
- Any special needs
- The income and needs of the parent who has custody
- The supporting parent’s financial situation and ability to pay
- The child’s standard of living before divorce
The court’s No. 1 consideration in child support negotiations is the best interests of the child. If at all possible, the court will strive to maintain the child’s standard of living from before the divorce.
In certain situations, parents can avoid going to court to negotiate child support payments. Using a legal agreement, known as a “stipulation,” the parents can show paternity and establish a child support payment arrangement. In these cases, it can be beneficial to have the help of an experienced California mediator like Soheila Azizi, who has personally mediated more than 1,000 family law cases in the state.
Calculating Child Support
Child support takes a wide range of factors into account. California law dictates that child support is based on each parent’s disposable monthly income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Net disposable income includes any and all income sources, whether or not the source is taxed under federal or state law. For the purposes of child support, income includes:
- Self-employment earnings
- Unemployment benefits
- Disability benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Rental income
- Social Security or pensions
- Any payments or credits due, including lottery and prize winnings
The court calculates net monthly income by subtracting certain required payments, such as taxes, mandatory union dues, health premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, costs of raising children from another relationship, and pre-existing child support payments.
During the divorce process, the court usually requires each parent to fill out a financial statement. This statement allows the court to gain a full understanding of the parents’ financial situation and begin to determine child support amounts.
Child Support Modifications
As lives go on and situations develop, existing child support arrangements can become outdated. Medical emergencies, new living arrangements, and a change in financial status can all necessitate a child support modification.
In order to modify a child support order, you must show the court that circumstances have changed substantially since the last order. Major changes in the child or parents’ lives can be temporary or permanent, leading to either a temporary or permanent order.
Temporary situations that can lead to child support modifications include:
- Financial hardship on the part of the supporting parent; in other words, the payer is temporarily unable to pay child support due to illness, job loss, or an emergency
- Financial hardship on the part of the receiving parent; in other words, the receiving parent is unable to provide for him or herself and the child with the current support amount due to illness, job loss, or other factors
- Medical emergencies, either for the child, the receiving parent, or the supporting parent
Permanent situations that can lead to child support modifications include:
- Changes in income, such as a lost job, a salary reduction, or a salary increase
- Change in custody, such as when a child decides to move in with the other parent or the custodial parent decides to move out of state
- Changes to the visitation schedule, which cause the child to spend significantly more time with one parent than before
Contact Soheila Azizi and Associates, P.C.
Soheila Azizi and Associates, P.C. is proud to be your law firm for life. Our caring and experienced attorneys have spent years in family law and have dealt with a variety of child support issues. Whether mediating or litigating child support, we are committed to the best interests of your children.
Our caring and experienced family law attorneys are prepared to handle your case with dedication, compassion, and respect. Whether you need to enforce payments or need to modify an existing child support order, we can help. Soheila Aziz and Associates, P.C. have extensive experience in mediation, trial litigation, and arbitration, and we will work with you to figure out the best approach for your situation.
If you are dealing with issues of divorce or child support, contact the Law Offices of Soheila Azizi and Associates, P.C. Our skilled attorneys can help calculate child support amounts, modify existing child support agreements, and more—all with your child’s interests in mind. Call (909) 484-9992 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation today.