Currently, there are millions of divorced parents who pay or receive child support. Fortunately, federal legislation and state laws have been enacted to make enforcement and collection of child support much easier for parents receiving support for their children. Every state uses its own guidelines for establishing child support, and each has various factors to consider in setting support amounts. States also have different methods of recovering support when it is overdue, as well as different penalties to enforce. It is very important to consult a Corona family law attorney who is familiar with the child support guidelines and child support enforcement laws in your state. Call (951) 666-5191 today to learn how we can help!
In general, parents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children until the age of majority (usually 18 or 21 years old) or until they can do so themselves. In cases of sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent’s obligation for financial support is usually fulfilled through child support payments. The non-custodial parent must pay child support whether the child lives with the other parent or a third party, and regardless of whether or not the custodial parent or guardian actually needs help. In fact, some states will even award child support if the parents share custody.
California courts will determine the amount of support owed by considering the needs of the child and the income of the paying parent. The family courts use very specific guidelines to make this decision and will award the amount that meets them, unless one of the parties requests a different amount and can provide evidence of its fairness.
Laws regarding child support enforcement are designed to ensure parents don’t shirk their responsibilities. Payments are often due on the 1st and 15th day of each month. In many jurisdictions, payments are taken directly from the supporting parent’s paycheck. This is done through an income withholding order from the court that goes directly to the supporting party’s employer. Otherwise, the paying parent makes payments directly to a child support registry. This registry forwards the payments to the custodial parent and keeps a record of all payments that are and are not made.
All states have also created offices for child support enforcement. They are usually called the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). The main function of this agency is to help locate responsible parents and enforce child support orders. There are also federal laws that criminalize non-payment of child support for out-of-state parents. In short, you will rarely have to take action on your own to enforce a child support order.
If you have questions about the child support laws in California, the guidelines for child support collection and enforcement that apply to your particular situation, or how to establish paternity, contact a family law attorney at Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC!