Divorce can be messy, and if a child or children are included then it can increase tenfold. Read on to know more about child support per San Diego law.
When a marriage or other relationship ends, if children are involved, a discussion about child support is inevitable. Child support is an often court-ordered arrangement where one parent pays a specified amount of money to the custodial parent to be used for financially facilitating a minor child’s or children’s needs. Usually one of the parents will get primary custody of the child, and the other has to provide financial support.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
In the United States, it is required by federal law that each state form a guideline that can be used to calculate child support. It is largely based on the income and expenses of the parents.
In San Diego, California, there are guidelines that are implemented when the parents are unable to agree on an amount. It is calculated in a way that takes the following factors into consideration:
These are just a few of the many factors that go into the decision. This formulated guideline also requires parents to share costs when it concerns a child’s healthcare expenses and educational needs. If you require additional help or if you and your partner are unable to reach an agreement regarding this issue, you can always hire a child support attorney, especially if the case involves:
Child support payment obligation is not conditioned by marriage. If you are the child’s parent, all the legal matters will be the same irrespective of whether you are divorced or separated.
Changing Child Support Payments
Child support payments may be modified in some cases, but only by the court. Permanent changes can be made if:
Parents can also request a modification in the child support payments which must be submitted to a judge. Only the court can decide and change the child support payment. If both parents agree on the changes, it is easy to implement. However, if one parent objects, then the request will be submitted via a family law attorney for a hearing.
Usually, in this case, the parent requesting the change must answer and provide a reason for the change in payments. However, a temporary change in the payments can also be made if it is due to a medical emergency, or short-term economic distress of the receiving parent.
Withholding or Delaying Payments
The non-custodial parent cannot withhold child support payments without a valid reason. If your ex did not let you visit your child, that does not give you the right to stop paying. For visitation cases, you can submit a complaint in court and enforce the court order.
Delaying or falling behind on payments is also seen as damaging your credibility with the court and law officials. This may impact custody changes, your parenting plan, and other aspects of your legal relationship with your child.
When you fail to meet the payment schedule, it is seen as defying the order of the court. The consequences may include:
Income garnishment is where your employer withholds your income (either half or full) and gives it to the state.
If you are, however, having trouble paying due to unemployment, for instance, you can request to modify the amount. Depending on your case, the court may order a temporary or a permanent change.
Getting behind on your child support payments is a serious issue that will subject you to dire consequences.
How Long Will Child Support Last?
According to the law, it is generally required that the non-custodial parent continue providing child support until any of the below circumstances occur:
However, parents can decide whether they want to continue to provide for their children even after the abovementioned circumstances occur. Especially in cases of a special needs child or a disabled one, the parents can jointly continue to support them financially if they cannot do it on their own.
In some cases, if the custodial parent receives public assistance, the child support paid by the non-custodial parent will go directly toward the state, where it is split with the government. The government will want to seek reimbursement for any extra payments that were made to the custodial parent and the child.
Child support is designed to be used for the child’s expenses, including educational needs, medical bills, food, and clothing, but that is not essential. In San Diego, under the California Law, the amount provided for child support may be used to improve or upgrade the standard of living of the custodial parent and he/she does not have to be accountable for how it is used.