Ryan Family Law
Understanding Child Support in California
Child support attorney Paul J. Ryan, Esq. founder of Ryan Family Law, understands that child support is a critical issue, and we’re here to provide you with the information you need to understand the child support system in California. We represent parents in family law court to establish child support as well as parents who have been through family court to petition the court for child support modifications when income, finances, and personal situations change.
Whether you’re a parent seeking child support or a non-custodial parent paying it, it’s essential to understand the legal and financial obligations and the factors that determine the amount of support.
What is Child Support?
Child support is the amount of money that a non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to cover the expenses of raising a child. The money paid by the non-custodial parent is intended to ensure that the child receives the same standard of living as they would have if the parents lived together. In California, child support is calculated based on a complex formula that takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.
Custodial Vs. Noncustodial Parents
If a parent has sole custody, the noncustodial parent must pay their child support obligation the custodial parent. When parents have joint custody, their support obligations are based on earning power and the percentage of time the child spends with each child. No matter what type of custody arrangement you have, we will help you get a child support order that fits your financial needs.
How is Child Support Calculated in California?
In California, family court judges determine child support payments by using a set of guidelines and formulas. Even with these guidelines, it is up to each parent to make the case about to why they may qualify for a deviation from the norm. Our child support attorneys at Ryan Family Law can help you create a compelling argument for your child support case and account for commonly overlooked financial obligations.
A family court judge can use many factors when determining support payment totals, including the:
- Child’s standard of living before divorce or separation
- Needs of the child, including health insurance, education, day care and special needs
- Income and needs of the custodial parent
- Paying parent’s ability to pay
Outside of carefully-crafted appeals to the family court to consider your unique situation, the baseline California child support formula is called the “Guideline Calculation.” The Guideline Calculation takes into account the gross income of both parents, as well as certain deductions and credits. The formula considers a wide range of factors, including:
- Each parent’s income, including wages, salaries, tips, commissions, and other forms of income
- The number of children in the family
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child
- Health insurance premiums paid by either parent for the child
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Childcare costs
- Tax deductions and credits
Once all of these factors have been taken into account, the court will determine the amount of child support that must be paid.
You need a skilled and proven California child support attorney to seek the best possible outcome for your case. For example, often times the other parent will disrult the whole process by saying something like “When the judge sees my expenses, he will award less than the support from the schedule” or “I will quit my job before I pay you that kind of money.” We have resolved many combative child support cases and can help you take on the other parent in the courtroom.
What Happens if My Income Changes?
If your income changes, it’s important to notify the court immediately. A change in income can result in a change in the amount of child support you are required to pay or receive. Failure to report a change in income can result in penalties, including interest and fines.
Child Support Modifications
If you are the non-custodial parent paying the custodial parent and your income has dropped, call Ryan Family Law immediately – it might be time to petition the court to adjust your existing support (child & spousal) to better fit your new financial situation. This is refered to a support modification.
If you are the custodial parent receiving child support (and spousal support) and your ex has a significant increase in earnings, you should contact Ryan Family Law -it might be time to petition the court to adjust your existing support (child & spousal) higher to reflect the significant increase in earnings of the non-custodial parent’s new financial situation.
What if I Can’t Afford to Pay Child Support?
If you are unable to pay your child support obligation, it’s important to act quickly. Failure to pay child support can result in wage garnishment, liens on property, and even the suspension of your driver’s license. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you may be able to request a modification of your child support obligation. Ryan Family Law can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
At Ryan Family Law, we know that child support can be a complex and emotionally charged issue. We’re here to provide you with the information and support you need to navigate the legal system and ensure that the best interests of your child are protected. If you have any questions or concerns about child support in California, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
Working To Get You A Fair Child Support Order
Child support is a monthly payment paid by the noncustodial parent to the parent with primary custody. The custodial parent can then use this money to pay for the child’s life needs and to improve their standard of living. Because these potentially expensive payments last until a child turns 18 years of age, many parents have strong feelings about child support and disputes can arise.
Call A Capable Child Support & Support Modification Attorney Now
At Ryan Family Law, our skilled attorneys helps parents in the San Diego and the Bay Area (office locations) get fair child support agreements. We will build a case that shows the courts your financial situation and the needs of your child.
Our San Diego child support attorneys and Bay area child support lawyers can help you with your child support proceedings, enforcement and modifications. In your initial free phone consultation or at a face-to-face initial consultation meeting at any of our four California office locations, we can start building your case.
You can call us now to schedule a no-cost consultation in your initial phone consultation by calling (858) 222-6600 or (925) 542-2543. If you are at work or cannot call us right now, reach out to Paul J. Ryan and his team using his quick Contact Form to schedule a no-cost return call at a time that works for you.