Archive for the ‘ Child Support ’ Category

How To Change A Child Support Order in California

Posted on: August 28, 2016 by in Child Support
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Orange County family law attorney

If you are a parent who is divorcing or about to divorce, nothing is more important than your children, their futures, and their well-being. After a divorce is final in the state of California, both parents still have an equal obligation to support their minor child or children. Divorcing spouses often agree voluntarily upon how much the non-custodial parent should pay the custodial parent for child support, and California family court judges will usually go along with a voluntary arrangement.

But when child support becomes a matter of dispute between the divorcing spouses, a judge will make the child support decision according to what the court deems is in “the best interests” of the child. California has established formal guidelines to help judges determine the proper amount of child support that should be given to a custodial parent by a non-custodial parent subsequent to a divorce. A California judge will use those guidelines to impose a child support order based on each parent’s assets, income, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The best interests of the child will always be a California court’s highest priority.


But even when both parents or their attorneys are able to resolve the child support issue – or after the court renders a ruling – a change in circumstances at a later date may require a modification of the child support agreement or court order. Child support disputes in California are not always concluded simply because a divorce has been finalized and the child support amount has been initially determined.


Whether a child support arrangement was voluntary or imposed, sometimes the support arrangement must be changed. Relocations, new jobs, new spouses, injuries, and illnesses are some of the reasons why a child support order may need to be modified. Almost everyone’s life changes at some point, so modifications of child support orders are actually quite common in California.

According to Orange County family law attorney Brian Bayati, “Child support can be a tricky subject for many people; but, sometimes, it is necessary for one or both parties to revisit the payment amount to ensure they achieve the financial circumstance within their child’s/children’s best interest.” In court, a parent seeking a child support order modification will have to prove to the judge that there has been a change in circumstances that makes the current child support order unworkable or obsolete. There are a number of reasons why a child support order might need to be modified. Some of these reasons are:

  • One or both parents have become unemployed (or in some cases, employed).
  • One or both parents have been incarcerated.
  • The income of one or both parents has changed.
  • One parent has had a new child with another partner.
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent has substantially changed.
  • The child’s educational, medical, or child care needs may have changed.
  • The factors that are used to calculate child support have been changed.

Divorced parents should remember that they cannot simply make a new child support arrangement on their own without notifying the court. Unless and until the judge signs a new court order, the existing child support order does not change. Even if parents have a verbal agreement to change the child support amount, you need to protect yourself. Contact your family law attorney, put the agreement in writing, and have a judge sign it.



Parents in California should know that child support order modifications are not retroactive. For example, if your ex-spouse’s income increases significantly while you are paying child support, you can probably have your support order modified to allow you to make lower monthly payments. But if you wait to act after your ex-spouse’s income increases, you cannot be reimbursed for any period prior to the actual date of the modification.

Child support payments are temporarily suspended – after the first ninety days – when the paying parent is sent to jail or prison or otherwise involuntarily institutionalized for more than ninety days. When the parent is released from jail or institutionalization, child support payments start again at the same amount. However, there are three exceptions to the rule suspending payments during a period of jail or institutionalization. Payments will not be suspended if:


  • Even while not working, you still have the financial ability to pay child support.
  • You were jailed because of domestic violence against the ex-spouse or the child.
  • You were sent to jail because you failed to pay child support.

Some parents sometimes think they should ask the court to modify a child support order because they think the amount they pay will go down, but when they get to court, the amount they have to pay actually goes up. It happens the other way as well, when a custodial parent seeks more child support but ends up receiving less. In Southern California, before you take any legal action regarding a child support modification, it is imperative to have a discussion with an experienced Orange County family law attorney. A good family lawyer should be able to tell you in advance how your request for a child support order modification will be handled by the court.


If your former spouse isn’t making the child support payments that he or she owes, you may have to return to the courtroom. You and your attorney will have to show proof to the court that your ex has not made payments (or has not made them fully or in a timely manner). You may also have to explain to a judge how your ex-spouse’s failure to pay is causing difficulty for you and your child. If child support payments continue to be delinquent, you may have to return to the court to seek enforcement.

Parents should also understand that before a California judge will change a child support order, there must be not only a substantial change of circumstances, but there must also be irrefutable evidence that a modification is in the best interests of the child. This state’s legislators and judges understand that everyone’s situation changes and that child support orders must routinely be changed. Still, California judges will always make a child’s best long-term interests the court’s highest priority, and judges will not approve a change of an existing child support order without considerable evidence that the change is in the child’s best interests.

Child Support After A Parent Dies

Posted on: July 22, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County divorce attorney

Divorce is never easy, and when you have children, it’s even tougher. If you are divorcing or anticipating a divorce in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, you’ll need to obtain legal advice and representation at once by contacting a trustworthy and experienced Orange County divorce attorney. One key part of a divorce and youngster support agreement may be a life insurance policy. Life insurance can guarantee that there will be resources to support the child or children if the parent who pays youngster assist passes away. However, if neither parent has life insurance, courts in California can order parents to maintain, even after divorce, a life insurance policy that names their children, the other parent, or even a testamentary trust as beneficiaries.

A court may in some cases order the parent paying child support to obtain a new life insurance policy for child support purposes. In other cases, a court may order the division of an existing life insurance policy for child support purposes. Each situation is different, and a variety of factors must be considered, particularly the income and assets of each parent. If you are going to rely on your ex for youngster support, do not hesitate to ask your ex to establish a life insurance policy for child assist purposes. If your ex fails to cooperate, talk with an experienced Orange County divorce attorney about your legal options, including the option of asking the court to order your ex to acquire a life insurance policy.

Nothing is more important to you than your children. A good family law attorney fully understands that. If you are a custodial parent seeking child assist in southern California, or if you’re involved in any dispute regarding youngster support, child custody, or youngster visitation privileges, get the sound legal advice and dedicated representation you need by contacting an experienced Orange County divorce attorney as quickly as possible.

An Obligation That Transcends Death

Posted on: July 15, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County family law attorney

If you are involved in a youngster assist dispute – or if you expect to be involved in a child support dispute – during or after a divorce in California, obtain legal help at once by promptly contacting an experienced Orange County family law attorney. Every parent is obligated by law to support their children. When child support is ordered after a divorce, the order is merely a recognition of every parent’s responsibility. The child support order is not a penalty or a punishment. In California, a parent is legally obligated to provide support until a child turns 18 years old. What you may not know is that if a parent passes away before a child turns 18, the support obligation may not end with death.

California’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently dealt with this issue in a case where the child’s parents never married. The parents fought in court for several years regarding the child assist  matter. When the mother passed away and the father took legal action against a trust established to hold the mother’s assets, the court initially denied the request. The Fifth District Court reversed that decision, citing a 1949 ruling by the California Supreme Court in Taylor v. George. The Fifth District Court’s ruling said, in part:

“It is well established that a child support obligation survives the death of the supporting parent and is a charge against his or her estate. In addition to being a charge against a supporting parent’s estate, court-ordered child support becomes a charge against that parent’s living trust, when his or her assets are in such trust rather than in an estate.”

That makes the law quite clear. If you are receiving youngster assist payments and the parent making those payments passes away, the responsibility for payments passes to the deceased parent’s trust or estate. If you are a parent on either side of a child support dispute in southern California, obtain the legal advice and help you need for your own case right now, and arrange immediately to speak with an Orange County family law attorney.

How To Enforce A Child Support Order

Posted on: June 8, 2015 by in Blog, Child Support
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Orange County divorce attorney

When a California court issues a youngster support “order,” it’s an order, and it can be enforced by the court. Nevertheless, delinquency on child support payments is commonplace in California and across the country. In 2011, $14.3 billion in child assist remained unpaid in the United States. In 2012, the Census Bureau determined that only 41.2 percent of custodial parents receive the full amount of assistance owed by ex-spouses. However, California law offers several ways to enforce child support orders. If you need to have a child support order enforced, speak at once with an experienced Orange County family law attorney. A good family law attorney can use a variety of legal tools to win justice for parents and children who rely on court-ordered child support payments.

California courts use a mathematical formula to decide what the monthly amount of a youngster support payment should be. A court considers the incomes of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time children spend with the parents, as well as taxes and other pertinent financial information. If your ex-spouse has been ordered to pay you child assist and you are not receiving it, speak to an Orange County family law attorney and get the help you need. In many cases, a family law attorney can help you take legal actions including but not limited to wage garnishments, bank account levies, intercepting tax refunds, and having the delinquent parent charged with contempt of court.

However, drastic legal measures are not always required. A good family law attorney may also be able to help you by acting as a mediator or negotiator; in many cases, an agreement acceptable to both sides can often be achieved without hostility or legal force. If you’re a parent who is not receiving the child support payments that you should be receiving, speak at once with an experienced Orange County family law attorney.