Child Support Case Types
A child support order comes about in one of two ways. Either one party requests child support through a private divorce, paternity, or domestic violence case, or the Department of Child Support Services opens a governmental action for child support. A governmental action for child support can also be opened at the request of either parent or because one parent is receiving cash aid, food stamps, and/or MediCal. The Department of Child Support Services can also open a case for child support against you if your child enters the foster care system or becomes a ward of the county for any other reason.
Parents have a duty under California state law to support their children. The court generally sets your child support based upon California state guidelines. There are several factors that go into the calculation of child support including the amount of money earned by each party, the actual custodial timeshare (hours in a week each party sees the children), tax status of the parties, additional children supported by either party, childcare costs, healthcare costs paid, and mortgage interest and property tax.
R & S Law Group, LLP can assist you with your child support regardless of the type of child support case and regardless of the issue. Our experienced attorneys are available for a free child support calculation over the phone or to answer any other questions you may have regarding your child support.
R & S Law Group offers representation in the following areas:
- Establish Child Support
- Modification of Child Support (Increase or Decrease Payments)
- Add or Remove Child Care or Health Insurance
- Determination of Arrears or Determination of Back Child Support Owed
- Negotiation of Reduced Child Support Arrears
- Set Reasonable Payment on Arrears
- Stipulations or Agreements between the parties to set or modify current or past due child support
- Accountings for Medical and Other Expenses
- Establish or Remove Wage Assignments
- Release of Driver’s License or other California License
- Governmental Compromise of Arrears
- Getting Child Support Credit for a period of time your family was intact, you had the child residing with you, or you were incarcerated
Frequently Asked Questions
When A Case Is Opened, How Does The Process Work?
Regardless of the case type, when a case is opened against you, you will be served with a summons and complaint.
You have thirty days to respond.
If you don’t respond, the court can issue a judgment and make child support orders and any other orders without your participation.
If you do respond to the court paperwork, you will be involved and can be present at the court hearing to tell the judge your side of the story.
I Pay Child Support For My Son, And My Son’s Mother Recently Remarried. Will My Child Support Amount Decrease?
Generally, no. Only a biological or legal parent is obligated to support a child. The other parent’s new spouse may actually increase your child support if it substantially alters the other parent’s tax status.
I Do Not Have Any Income Right Now; How Will The Court Decide What My Child Support Will Be?
The governmental child support courts rarely make an order resulting in a zero support order. If you are unemployed, the court is more likely to impute minimum wage and set support as if you are working. (Imputing means that they assign a minimum wage income to you instead of $0.) Sometimes in a divorce or paternity action, the court will set support based on one person having no income. This usually arises when there was an agreement that one party would stay at home with the children. These types of support orders are usually temporary to allow the supported party to find employment.
I Heard That The Department Of Child Support Services Can Take My Driver’s License If I Can’t Pay My Support. Is This True?
Yes, if the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is involved in your case, there are several things DCSS can do to collect child support. DCSS can take your driver’s license (or any other California license such as your contractor’s license) and/or your passport, garnish your wages, levy your bank accounts, take up to 25% of you unemployment, take up to 25% of your unemployment benefits, take your Social Security and/or disability, and force you to elect the health insurance coverage provided by your employer if they find it is reasonable.
DCSS Took My Passport. Can I Get It Back?
Any time your back child support reaches $2,000.00, DCSS can take your passport. Once DCSS has taken your passport, you must pay all back child support to get it back. You may be able to travel out of the country if you have a close relative who is extremely ill or to attend the funeral of a family member.
I Am Making My Payments On My Child Support On Time. DCSS Levied My Bank Account Anyway. Can They Do That?
As long as you owe any amount of back support, DCSS can levy your bank account. This is true even if you are making your scheduled payments. Depending on your situation, you may be able to get the money released if you act immediately. Call R & S Law Group to determine if you are eligible to have the levy released.
I Just Found Out That I Owe Over $10,000.00 In Back Child Support, But My Children Live With Me. Is There Anything I Can Do?
You may be eligible for Jackson credits, another type of offset, or to set aside your support order.
I Am On Social Security. Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support?
While you are on Social Security Disability or receiving Social Security, your minor children are eligible for derivative benefits. You can ask the court to offset the child support obligation by the amount of the derivative benefits. Often the derivative benefit is more than the child support order, and it can be used to pay down the back child support that has accumulated.
Contact R&S Law Group for a child support attorney Orange County trusts.
California Department of Child Support Services: http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Default.aspx
The information on this page is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice.