Legal Help for Child Support Payment Changes and Modifications

Child Support Calculator

Do you want to try and get your child support payments reduced? Do you think you’re entitled to more child support than you’re currently receiving? Under California law, the amount of child support paid by the noncustodial parent is determined by using a specific formula of income and parenting time of both parents. The income used in the calculation is often a legal matter that must be worked out by the attorneys and judge involved.

We Protect Your Child Support Interests

When it comes to child support payment obligations, Feinberg & Waller, APC, will protect your rights as a parent of divorce. We have the professional and technical resources to investigate the financial data relevant to the complex California child support calculations.

Our family law team is led by attorney Marshall Waller, who is a California board-certified family law specialist. We understand the critical and contentious issues on both sides of the child support issue and work aggressively to ensure that your interests are being represented fairly.

Child Support Changes/Modifications

Time doesn't stand still -- and neither do people's lives. The courts recognize that financial circumstances change. If the situations of your life have affected your original child support obligations, you are entitled to try and request a change to your child support order.

Increasing Child Support Payments

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You might be granted a child support change or modification if circumstances have changed such as:

  • Loss of income of the noncustodial parent
  • Your children have moved out of the jurisdiction and your parenting time has been greatly affected
  • Your child has moved in with the non-custodial parent and the original percentage of parenting time has been greatly impacted
  • A child has special educational or religious needs, agreed to by both parents
  • The child has special healthcare needs
  • An increase or decrease in income of either party -- especially if the child's welfare will be affected

Reducing Child Support Payments

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There are many other scenarios where the court will consider a child support change. It’s best to talk to an experienced attorney at our firm to discuss your specific circumstances.

Understanding California's Child Support Laws

In the United States, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce and almost one-fourth of all children are born to unmarried parents. As a result, the regulation of child support is an important social issue. At one time the arrangement for and payment of child support was left to the parents, but now state child support enforcement agencies are taking an aggressive role in seeking payments from non-custodial parents.

Child support orders are issued by the Family Court, and are based on state child support guidelines. These guidelines are based largely on the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children he/she has to support. The court will also consider other relevant factors, like the custodial parent's income and the needs of the children. The court can deviate from the guidelines if there are significant reasons to do so.

When married parents divorce or separate (or when only one of the unmarried parents has custody of a child) the court may order the noncustodial parent, (the one that does not have primary custody of the child) to pay a certain portion of his or her income as child support. If the child is in the custody of both parents, and the parents are providing a reasonable level of support, the law usually does not interfere with or regulate the amount of financial support provided.

If child support payments are ordered, the state agency and the court will typically work together to implement a child support withholding order, where the child support amount is automatically taken from the payer's paycheck. If the child support payments become delinquent, the agency can implement other collection mechanisms, like withholding child support amounts from tax refunds, or seizing real estate or personal property.

Both Parents are Required to Support the Child

The fact that the custodial parent has a high income does not justify deviation from the guidelines. By law, children have the right to benefit from both parents' incomes. Child support can be increased if there is a change in circumstances justifying an increase, such as an increase in the payer's income or the cost of living, a decrease in the custodial parent's income or an increase in the child's needs. Similarly, the amount can be reduced if the circumstances justify the reduction.

In cases involving unmarried mothers seeking child support, the first step may be to legally establish the father's paternity of the child. The father can submit to a genetic (DNA) paternity test voluntarily, but if he does not, the mother may need to bring a lawsuit to establish paternity. The court would then order the alleged father to submit to the paternity testing if he does not agree to take it voluntarily. Once paternity is established, the court will then issue an order for child support.

If the non-custodial parent moves to another state, the custodial parent may have to rely on the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act to implement or ensure payment of child support. This provides the procedure to support a child support order issued in one state so it can be enforced by the courts in another state.

If you’re dealing with child support issues, you need a lawyer experienced in family law that can help you get an order for child support – or defend your interests if your former spouse is trying to get child support -- and assist in enforcing or protecting you once the order is issued.

Family law attorneys also represent either parent in a child custody support modification (increases or reductions) or in a proceeding to establish or disprove paternity. When the well-being of a child is at stake, child support issues are an important concern. That means you need the help assistance of an experienced lawyer – it is essential to the process.

Meet With Our Experienced Child Support Attorneys

We invite you to call and schedule a consultation with our family law attorneys to discuss support, child support modifications or any family law matter.