Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
Child Support
Compassionate in Our Approach, Decisive in Our Strategy
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Carlsbad Child Support Attorney

Who Pays Child Support? How Can It Be Used?

The purpose of child support, at its core, is to spread out the cost of raising that child. According to some estimates, it costs around $240,000 for parents to raise a child until they are 18. Married parents share a lot of costs naturally. Divorced parents may not, however, so child support is used to ensure that both parents are paying at least a portion.

Child support money can be used for the child’s direct needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, school and health care. The total amount paid is based on various factors like the income difference between the divorced parents, the cost of living in the area and the lifestyle to which the child is accustomed.

Why You Need A Family Law Attorney In San Diego County

When parents separate, each is still responsible for financially providing for their children. Upon separating, one parent must ask the court to make an order that establishes child support, which is to be paid until the child reaches the age of 18 (or 19 in cases where the child is still in high school/living at home/or otherwise cannot provide for themselves).

At Griffith, Young & Lass, we want to help you avoid conflict in the courtroom whenever possible. Our Carlsbad child support attorneys can calculate your projected child support payments using the same guidelines as the court, and we can make suggestions for maximizing these payments in a way that benefits both you and your children. Our Carlsbad child support lawyers can also help you prepare the necessary forms for getting or modifying child support as needed.

Need help with a child support case in North County, San Diego? Contact a child support lawyer in Carlsbad today!

Helping You Understand And Follow California’s Child Support Guidelines

The state of California has mandated statutory guidelines for calculating child support orders. This guideline is absolute, with the exception of a few very unique circumstances. The guideline for child support calculations takes into consideration a number of variables, most notably:

  • The number of children
  • The respective timeshare percentages of each parent with the children
  • The gross monthly income of each parent
  • The tax filing status of each parent
  • Any relevant deductions influencing disposable income available to include health insurance
  • Any child support paid for other children
  • Union dues
  • Mandatory retirement
  • And more

The formula also takes into consideration factors influencing each parent’s tax basis, such as possible deductions for dependents, mortgage interest and property taxes.

Make sure your financial well-being – and that of your children – is taken care of by contacting Griffith, Young & Lass for help with a child support order. Call 858-951-1526 or contact us online to learn more.

Child Support Add-Ons

Child support add-ons are additions to the guideline child support order that are over and above the monthly amount of support ordered.

Generally, a family law court will always order that each party cover half of all uninsured medical expenses, including co-pays and deductibles, as well as half of all child care expenses incurred as a result of either parent working or obtaining training to become employed.

Some parents also agree on additional child support add-ons. Commonly agreed-upon add-ons include:

  • Extracurricular activity expenses
  • School tuition
  • Travel expenses
  • Other child expenses

*These expenses may or may not be ordered depending on the financial circumstances of the parties.

Modification Of California Child Support Orders

A guideline child support order can be modified upward or downward anytime there is a significant change in the circumstances of either party warranting modification of the ordered amount for child support.

Whenever a modification is sought, it is imperative that a motion be filed as early as possible, as the modification will not take effect at any point earlier than the date on which the motion is filed. As such, if a child support obligor loses their job, receives a significant pay cut or goes through a significant change in the timeshare percentage with the children, the obligor must file a motion to modify, or they will be ordered to continue to pay a child support amount that is unreasonably high considering the circumstances.

Our attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass have experience seeking child support modification orders in all San Diego Family Courts, as well as in cases involving the Department of Child Support Services. Contact us today for help.

Child Support FAQs

How long does child support last?

Unless otherwise agreed to in writing between the parents, a parent’s obligation to provide child support ends when the minor child either turns 18 and has graduated from high school or turns 19 – whichever occurs first.

How does 50-50 custody affect child support?

A common misconception is that when the parents share child custody on a 50-50 basis, there is no child support order. This is not the case. In fact, even in a 50-50 custody arrangement, a guideline child support order will be made if the circumstances warrant it. You will see this in a case where one parent makes a considerably higher income than the other.

What if I lose my job?

Call a child support lawyer and immediately file a motion to set child support at zero! The family court only has the ability to change your child support order from the day that a motion to modify is filed – no exceptions. The court will most likely modify the child support order to zero and order you to make job contacts until you find a job if you haven’t by the time of the hearing.

What Is DCSS?

DCSS is the Department of Child Support Services. Just as the IRS represents the government’s interest in collecting our taxes, the DCSS represents the state of California’s interest in ensuring that child support is being paid and that children are being financially supported by both parents. A common misconception is that the DCSS represents the custodial parent in a child support case. This is not true. In fact, the DCSS often files motions on behalf of the noncustodial parent to reduce child support if the circumstances of the case warrant a reduction.

Failure to pay court-ordered child support in a timely manner can lead to serious problems. Set yourself up for success and ensure your children receive the financial support they need by aligning with our Carlsbad child support lawyers at Griffith, Young & Lass.

Contact us via our online contact form or by dialing 858-951-1526.

If my ex refuses to pay child support, how do I enforce the order?

You may need to start by contacting the official child support agency in California. Each county has its own agency, so it can help to work with an experienced legal team to ensure that you contact the proper office. If this fails, then the issue is that your ex is in contempt of court for violating the court order. You and your team can file the paperwork to hold your ex in contempt, as the law is on your side. If your ex continues ignoring their financial responsibilities, they could face arrest. Often, the threat of this legal action is enough to get them to make those monthly payments on time.

Are there any legal consequences if my ex doesn’t pay child support?

Yes. As noted above, they could be held in contempt of court. This could lead to consequences like arrest, jail time and fines. They may also face the loss of their driver’s license, the suspension of their passport, the suspension of their professional license, bank levies and property liens. Additionally, failing to pay can put their parental rights in jeopardy.