Torrance, CA Child Support
Family Law Attorney Dedicated To Your Children’s Well-Being
For whatever reason, if a couple separates and they have one or more children the state of California has child support laws in place to protect the health and well-being of the children. When deciding to split, parents must consider how the divorce (or legal separation) affects them and their children, both emotionally and financially. With more than 27 years of experience in California family law matters, Bruce A. Mandel can work with you to obtain a fair and reasonable child support arrangement that enables you to raise your child in a safe and healthy environment.
We help parents:
- Understand child support guidelines
- Negotiate child support through mediation
- Litigate child support issues
- Enforce child support orders
- Modify child support orders
Child Support Guidelines
California law establishes general child support guidelines. These laws are geared specifically to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all children. Both state and federal laws says that both parents are responsible for providing support to their children. We can help you understand the basis and structure of these guidelines and how they apply to you.
There are a number of reasons for which one or both parents may be required to pay child support. To establish the amount of support, a case must be filed. If you already are a party to another family law case such as a divorce or domestic violence suit, you may also begin the process to file for child support. If you and your partner are not married, both parents are still required to support their child but paternity must first be established. There are also a number of other cases in which a child support cases is automatically filed.
Not every child support case is equal and there are a number of areas the courts will examine when making a decision on child support payments. We can help you obtain support payments that best accommodate your financial circumstances and most appropriately provide for your children’s needs.
If you and your partner are not married, both parents are still required to support their child but paternity must first be established. There are also a number of other cases in which a child support cases is automatically filed.
The courts may use the following to make a decision:
- The time each parent spends with their child(ren).
- The income or earning potential of the parents.
- How many children the parents have together or with others.
- Healthcare costs and health insurance.
- Cost of daycare or schooling
- Other monetary considerations.
Two of the major areas the courts will look at include parent’s income and timeshare between the parents. Income generally refers to the available income from a parent after taxes but may also include some additional income such as recurring overtime, bonuses, or other supplemental income. However, some income cannot be used when making this decision. The timeshare between parents only includes the physical time a parent spends in charge of their child.
Child Support Settlements Through Mediation
Through the structured process of mediation, couples can put aside their differences and focus on the one objective where they tend to agree — their children’s well-being. Mediation presents a forum for creating fair child support plans that enable both parents to share in the financial obligations of raising their children. While two parents may come to an equitable decision (both parents must agree and sign-off on the deal) on child support, the agreement must be approved by the courts. Bruce A. Mandel is a skilled negotiator who can guide the process toward equitable solutions.
Litigation of Child Support
In some cases mediation is not possible, for whatever reason. In these circumstances, litigation is necessary for your child to receive fair financial support from both parents. The courts are required to follow a strict guideline set up by the State of California and rarely are judges allowed to stray from these guidelines. It is important to remember California law places extreme importance on the well-being of any child. Any decisions made in regards to children will have their best interest in mind. We methodically prepare for litigation to achieve the most equitable support arrangement for your child.
Enforcement of Child Support
If the other parent of your child has fallen behind on child support payments, you may need assistance to collect the money that rightfully belongs to your child. Outright refusal to pay the required child support amount can lead to a variety of different punishments. If a parent decides to not pay child support, they can be found in contempt of court which may lead to jail time. Besides the criminal punishment, failure to pay may also lead to:
- Frozen bank accounts or wage garnishment.
- Suspended professional or driver’s licenses.
- Impact a person’s credit scores.
- Interruption of benefits such as tax refunds or disability payments.
- A lien on property.
- Denial of passport privileges.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act can be used to help you enforce a child support order. All 50 states within the United States have ratified this act meaning that once a child support order is filled you will still be able to collect the required payment no matter in which state the other parent lives. This act also means that a parent can only apply to modify the order in the state in which the order was originally created, in this case, California.
If you are looking to enforce payment of a child support order you must take a copy of the child support order to a child support agency office. They will be able to work with you and your attorney to find the best way to enforce the order. The local child support agency has a variety of ways in which they can help you collect unpaid child support. At the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel, we guide you through the process of enforcing and collecting your child support order.
If a parent decides to not pay child support, they can be found in contempt of court which may lead to jail time…The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act can be used to help you enforce a child support order.
Modification of Child Support
Financial problems may put you in a different financial situation than when you and your spouse divorced. However, you must continue to pay child support until the court modifies your order. If you are unable to pay your child support it is not wise to stop paying as this could lead to one or more of the punishments listed above.
Either parent may ask for support payments to be higher or lower. A court may allow a couple to change their child support agreement, especially if either if the couple’s financial situations have changed. When the court looks at a child support modification request, they will take into consideration all of the current circumstances. This means depending on how each parent’s situation has changed the required payments may be higher or lower. We can help you expeditiously process a modification of your child support order so that you and your former spouse more equitably share in the expenses of raising your child.
Contact an Experienced Torrance, California Child Support Attorney
When you are looking to enter into a child support agreement, either through mediation or litigation, or you are looking to enforce or modify a child support order, it is best to have an attorney who specializes in family law. With over 27 years of family law practice, Bruce A. Mandel and the lawyers at Torrance Family Law are here to work with you the ensure the best outcome for you and your children. To schedule a free half-hour initial consultation, call the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel at (424) 250-9130 or contact us online today.
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2790 Skypark Drive
Torrance, CA 90505